Thursday, 11 April 2019 03:41

Boeing, Australian Space Agency seal collaboration agreement Featured

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Dr David Haley, CTO and co-founder of Myriota, Maureen Dougherty, President of Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, Anthony Murfet, Deputy Head of the Australian Space Agency Dr David Haley, CTO and co-founder of Myriota, Maureen Dougherty, President of Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, Anthony Murfet, Deputy Head of the Australian Space Agency

Aircraft and aerospace manufacturer Boeing and the Australian Space Agency have signed a Statement of Strategic Intent to help advance the agency’s goals to expand Australia’s domestic space industry.

The agreement features Boeing support for investments in R&D, innovation, STEM education and government programs aligned with the Australian Space Agency’s priorities.

“Expanding our relationship with the Australian Space Agency is a significant step for Boeing and a reaffirmation of our longtime teaming with Australia in space,” said Jim Chilton, Boeing senior vice-president, Space and Launch.

“It means a lot that we’ve signed this agreement during a year when the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, when both Boeing and Australia played important roles in that historic achievement. We see great opportunity ahead for all of us as Australia continues to grow its space industry and national capabilities.”

Myriota, an Adelaide-based Internet of Things start-up which has Boeing HorizonX Ventures’ investment in the company, says by 2030 Australia would like to grow the space market segment from $3.9 billion to $12 billion and double space industry employment from about 10,000 today to 20,000.

Myriota says Boeing HorizonX Ventures’ investment seeks to revolutionise satellite communications by providing low-cost access to high-value data in remote locations.

Boeing also has partnerships with the University of Queensland, DST Group and the US Air Force Research Laboratory on the successful Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation program.

Boeing says it has a long history of space-related projects in Australia, including:

  • Launch of four new space R&D projects with Boeing’s research partner of 30 years, the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation.
  • Use of Boeing-built Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) and IS-22 satellites by the Australian Defence Force.
  • Boeing Defence Australia is the prime contractor for the Australian Defence Force’s Project LAND 2072 Phase 2B Currawong Battlespace Communications System, which will include Australian-developed satellite communications terminals for accessing the WGS satellite network.
  • Boeing Australia’s development of a virtual reality training system for the CST-100 Starliner, which will take passengers or a mix of crew and cargo on missions to low-Earth orbit.

Dr Megan Clark, head of the Australian Space Agency, said the signing of the statement was an example of how collaboration and engagement across countries is an important aspect of the growing space economy, both in Australia and internationally.

“This Statement of Strategic Intent highlights Boeing’s existing collaboration with CSIRO, universities and industry in broad areas such as space debris monitoring, advanced manufacturing and fuel production in space, on-orbit imaging, VR and remote space craft operation," she said.

“This partnership opens the doors for Australian innovators to participate in the global supply chain of the space sector.”

Myriota says Boeing’s STEM efforts in Australia span universities and non-profits in order to help develop the future engineers and leaders of Australia’s space industry.

And it says Boeing supports Space Squad, the Australian Youth Aerospace Association, the Australian Space Design Competition, and FIRST (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science and Technology) including its “exciting robotics program Mission Moon”.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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