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NZ-Australia Work To Advance Space Science

Space Minister Judith Collins is welcoming an agreement with Australia under which up to $6 million will be available to New Zealand researchers.

The funding will be available from the Government’s Catalyst Fund to support New Zealand researchers to participate in collaborative research projects through Australia’s SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre. The projects will focus on Earth observation, space situational awareness and optical communications.

“This collaboration agreement between the New Zealand Space Agency and Australia’s leading space research organisation will advance space science, technology and cooperation and provide real world benefits to New Zealanders,” Ms Collins says.

“New Zealand has an innovative space sector. This partnership presents exciting opportunities for it to grow and thrive. It is also an opportunity to work together to solve trans-Tasman challenges.”

Earth observation projects help to unlock information about the environment and climate through observation of the Earth from high-altitude and space. This data can help monitor biosecurity risks and manage crops.

Space situational awareness projects will help develop new ways to monitor the orbital environment and be at the forefront of global sustainable space activities, while optical communications projects investigate more efficient methods for sending large volumes of data between Earth and space and support future space exploration.

“Research enabled by this partnership will support our efforts to promote the safe and responsible use of space, make better use of aerospace enabled data in our primary industries and advance world-leading technology to improve communications,” Ms Collins says.

“It builds on similar successful international space science partnerships with NASA and the German Aerospace Center.

“This collaborative model shows how a small space agency can work with the best in the world, supporting New Zealand to contribute to and benefit from world leading space science and technology.”

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