Space Industry Innovation Council Meets at VSSEC
The Space Industry Innovation Council was established to provide strategic advice to the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, and champion innovation in the space sector. The Space Council was established in January 2010, and since then has held meetings at Industry House, Optus and VSSEC.
The meeting at Optus provided an opportunity for the Council members to visit the Optus Satellite Facility at Belrose. Over 150 Australians are employed full time in the Optus satellite business and have been extensively trained in the operation of space programmes and in the space industry. The Optus satellite fleet has a footprint that covers all of Australia and New Zealand and is located in orbital slots controlled by Australia.
The meeting at VSSEC provided an opportunity for the Council members to see a Mission to Mars in action. This program, and other VSSEC programs, were developed to engage students and teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and build skills in these areas. Effective science education and a solid skill base are essential for a sustainable space industry in Australia. The Council members mixed with students and shared their extensive knowledge. Is it an unfair advantage when the CEO of Geoscience Australia helps you interpret satellite images?
The Council also continued its Working Group discussions. Among other things the Working Groups are examining:
- how space technologies and services enable the broader delivery of government policy, such as our response to climate change, energy usage monitoring and natural disaster management;
- the importance of position, navigation and timing services (such as GPS) to Australia's society, civic infrastructure and economy;
- strategies and key messages for the sector to communicate the importance of space technologies and services; and
- Australia's role as the “Big Ear for the Southern Hemisphere" in providing vital satellite ground stations from our large and quiet continental location.