SYDNEY – Australia is joining the growing number of nations looking to compete in space, from launching microsatellites that track sheep to mining water on the moon. Its advantage? Half the country already looks like Mars.
With advances in technology and the falling cost of launch slots, the fledgling Australian Space Agency, set up last year, is taking a commercial approach to extraterrestrial ventures. It aims to leverage the country’s industrial skills in mining remote locations, developing automation and tapping a fast-growing startup culture to triple the size of the sector to 12 billion Australian dollars ($8.5 billion) by 2030.