Grants totalling $11 million have been awarded to ten Australian companies and universities working in the space sector.
The grants announced on Wednesday highlighted the breadth within the Australian SMEs and researchers, said Dr Megan Clark, head of the Australian Space Agency.
Among the successful companies (see full list below) is Human Aerospace, a startup awarded $844,000 to help develop a spacesuit to minimise the loss of bone density suffered in microgravity.
Saber Astronautics – which announced this week that it would establish a mission control centre in Adelaide – received $789,000 for its Open Source Space Operations infrastructure.
Industry minister Karen Andrews said that space was a growth sector, and would “form an important part of our economic recovery and help us emerge” following the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Grant winners (source: www.minister.industry.gov.au/)
- Melbourne University ($3,955,223) for its SpIRIT (Space Industry Responsive Intelligent Thermal) CubeSat mission, which involves the development of an innovative nano-satellite. SpIRIT will be the first Australian-made spacecraft to host a foreign space agency payload.
- Akin ($1,531,200) to develop an Artificial Intelligence (AI) space crew with personas working together to help astronauts with complex system tests.
- Silentium Defence Trading ($1,460,541) for its South Australian Multi-Sensor Space Observatory for Space Situational Awareness and Space Traffic Management.
- Human Aerospace ($844,236) to create a spacesuit that eases bone loss and other unhealthy side effects of microgravity during prolonged space missions.
- Skykraft ($878,193) for its design and qualification of micro-satellite constellation launch systems.
- Saber Astronautics Australia ($788,792) for OSSO: The Open Source Space Operations infrastructure.
- University of New South Wales ($691,500) for its Advanced Global Navigation Satellite System Receiver for CubeSats, Rockets and Remote Sensing.
- University of Canberra ($432,494) for its VertiSense-Mitigation of Sensorimotor Effects of Simulated Weightlessness, a project to counter sensorimotor disturbances experienced by astronauts after spaceflight.
- Stamen Engineering ($217,821) for its Decision Support System for Collision Avoidance of Space Objects.
- Raytracer ($200,000) for its Underwater Virtual Reality Training Simulations for Astronauts.