Australia to temporarily host ISRO satellite tracking facilities

This would support India’s planned human space flight programme

Updated - November 21, 2020 02:07 am IST

Published - November 20, 2020 04:34 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Hon Karen Andrews, Minister for Industry, Science & Technology, Govt of Australia

Hon Karen Andrews, Minister for Industry, Science & Technology, Govt of Australia

As part of steps to deepen cooperation in civil space activities, the space agencies of India and Australia were working together to position temporarily Indian tracking facilities in Australia, said Australian Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews on Friday. This would support India’s planned human space flight programme.

“These include earth observation and data analytics, robotics, and space life sciences. This mission will see India become just the fourth nation to send a crew into space,” Ms. Andrews said virtually speaking at the Bengaluru Tech Summit 2020.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has embarked on an ambitious plan to put an Indian in space by 2022 under Gaganyaan mission .

“There are significant opportunities for space agencies, research organisations, and commercial sectors in both of our countries”, she stated.

2012 MoU

India, Australia space cooperation is underpinned by a formal Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries in 2012.

Australian Deputy Consul General Michael Costa said both nations have been collaborating since 1987 to “support data calibration and laser raging for Indian satellites, launching Australian satellites, and conducting joint research”.

At a virtual summit in June, both countries elevated the bilateral relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, and put in place practical agreements on cybersecurity, emerging technology and critical minerals.

Since the summit, Ms. Andrews said, they have announced $15 million for extending the Australia-India strategic research fund for another four years to facilitate collaboration between researchers on strategically focused, leading-edge science and technology projects. The fund, the Australian government’s largest bilateral science programme, has seen a total commitment of nearly $100 million since 2006.

Cyber cooperation

Tobias Feakin, Australia’s Ambassador for Cyber Affairs and Critical Technology, said India and Australia concluded a framework arrangement on cyber and cyber-enabled critical technology cooperation. This was enhancing how the two countries collaborated to promote and preserve an open, free, safe and secure Internet.

On the advantages Australia has for space cooperation, Lloyd Damp, CEO of Southern Launch, a company that provides rocket launch infrastructure and associated services, said: “Australia has many unique advantages in space, from our geographical position in the southern hemisphere, to our wide-open spaces and relatively low light pollution, to our expertise in satellite data applications.” This made Australia an ideal partner for space debris tracking and space traffic management activities, world-leading earth observation services, efficient rocket technology and launch services, and remote asset management, he added.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.