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Space startups and researchers score $11 million in government grants

- June 17, 2020 2 MIN READ

 

Australian space startups and university researchers working on everything from astronaut virtual realise training to better spacesuit and AI-based avatar crews to test systems have been granted a total of $11 million in funding from the Australian government.

Industry, science and technology minister Karen Andrews said the 10 projects sharing in $11 million would boost jobs and skills in the space sector to help in economic recovery

“Investment in the space sector not only supports the creation of high tech jobs here in Australia, but also develops technologies that can support other areas of competitive advantage for our nation including agriculture and mining,” she said.

“This support will strengthen Australian business and university connections with international industry and space agencies, helping our businesses to prove themselves on the global stage and potentially secure more work in the future.”

Head of the Australian Space Agency Dr Megan Clark AC said the chosen projects demonstrate the breadth and quality in small and medium-sized companies and researchers.

“These projects will demonstrate that Australia is not content to just catch up with other nations but can be a leader in space innovation on the world stage,” she said.

The 10 projects are:

  • 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 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.

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