Backing more Australian space companies to soar

February 04, 2022

A new toolkit that will make space missions quicker, cheaper, more accurate and safer is among a series of projects being backed by the Moon to Mars program.

Image: Shutterstock

Industrial Sciences Group will receive $442,320 to further develop its Space Mission Analytics Toolkit, which is already earmarked for use by contractors on upcoming NASA lunar missions.

The toolkit includes software that helps space companies simulate missions so they can fine-tune their designs before investing in costly space hardware.

Once a mission launches, the toolkit can also monitor and analyse tracking data to support orbit determination.

It’s one of three projects that will share in more than $1.2 million under round four of the Moon to Mars Supply Chain Capability Improvement Grants Program.

Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said the Government was backing small and medium sized businesses as part of the mission to triple the space sector’s size to $12 billion and create up to 20,000 new jobs by 2030.

“This is another example of the incredible space capability that exists in Australia,” Minister Price said.

“We’re supporting the Australian space industry to grow its capacity to compete in a global market and become part of future missions, including NASA’s endeavours to return to the Moon and go on to Mars.

“Space is critical to our everyday lives and is also a growing economic powerhouse,  so by investing in these projects we’re investing in the future of Australia.”

The other two projects receiving a Supply Chain Capability Improvement Grant are:

  • Infinity Avionics (ACT), which has received $456,323 to develop a modular imaging unit for space applications.
  • Blueprint Lab (NSW), which has received $317,844 to transfer its advanced robotic manipulator technology into the space domain.

Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo said he’s confident these projects had the potential to leave a mark on the industry.

“I’m consistently impressed by the space technologies being developed here in Australia and know that our businesses and researchers have what it takes to make a real impression on the global stage,” Mr Palermo said.

“We are continuing to build momentum in the local space sector and enhancing our credentials as a serious space nation.”

The $150 million Moon to Mars initiative is part of more than $800 million invested by the Morrison Government into the civil space sector since 2018.

The Moon to Mars Supply Chain Capability Improvement program offers grants of between $250,000 and $1 million, with applications open until 1 May 2023.

To apply for a grant and for more information, visit business.gov.au 

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