NASA is set to launch an Australian-made rover on a mission to the Moon which could be ready for take off as early as 2026.
An Australian-made rover is set to be launched to the Moon on a NASA mission that could take off by 2026.
The Federal Government is expected to make the announcement today alongside industry leaders as part of its Trailblazer program.
Australian businesses and research organisations will bid for up to $50 million from the Federal Government to build the rover, with applications submitted early next year.
The rover, which will weigh less than 20 kgs, will seek to collect lunar soils and attempt to extract oxygen from them.
It forms part of a plan to establish a human presence on the Moon and assist future journeys to Mars.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the partnership with NASA would create further jobs in the industry in Australia.
“This mission to the Moon is just one exciting way that we can create opportunity and jobs for the future, and our government will ensure Australians reap the benefits,” Mr Morrison said.
“This is an incredible opportunity for Australia to succeed in the global space sector and is central to our government’s vision to secure more jobs and a larger share of the growing space economy.
“By 2030, we want to triple the size of our space sector, adding $12 billion to our economy and creating up to 20,000 new, high-skilled jobs, providing more opportunities for Australians and industries.”
Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said the mission would be historic for Australia.
“As well as putting Australia front and centre for scientific discoveries, our $50 million in support gives Australian businesses and researchers the opportunity to contribute to NASA’s mission to the Moon and beyond,” she said.
“It will build the Australian space sector’s capability and capacity and showcase Australia’s strengths to the world, as well as inspire a whole new generation of young people to enter careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.”
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