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All systems go for Mission Control, Space Discovery Centre

Posted September 10, 2020

Construction was officially launched today on the Australian Space Discovery Centre and state-of-the-art Mission Control Centre at Lot Fourteen to inspire the next generation of Australia’s space workforce.

Both will be co-located with the Australian Space Agency and the SmartSat CRC. Space is one of the high-growth-high value focus sectors at Lot Fourteen, which is also home to pioneering local space industry companies, including Inovor Technologies, Myriota and Neumann Space.

The Australian Government has invested nearly $700 million into the Australian space sector as part of its goal to triple the sector’s size to $12 billion and create an extra 20,000 jobs by 2030.

The Mission Control Centre will provide facilities for space businesses and researchers to control satellite and space missions, while the Australian Space Discovery Centre will showcase interactive space exhibits and a careers hub to the public, including students from schools and universities.

Both are due to open to the public in the first half of 2021 and are funded through the Adelaide City Deal by the federal and state governments.

Premier Steven Marshall speaking at the launch of construction of the Mission Control Centre and Australian Space Discovery Centre at Lot Fourteen. With him from left is chief executive of Saber Astronautics, Dr Jason Held, Senator Andrew McLachlan and Minister for Industry and Trade Stephen Patterson.

The Australian Space Discovery Centre is being delivered in partnership between the Australian Space Agency and Questacon. Saber Astronautics was awarded the contract to develop the Mission Control Centre.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the Australian Space Discovery Centre was the Morrison Government’s centrepiece to ignite curiosity in young people and promote the benefits of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“I am a huge advocate of opening doors for the next generation to engage with and enjoy STEM learning as much as I did,” Minister Andrews said.

“Sparking young people’s imagination about space isn’t just about the wonder of the unknown, but about making sure they can take advantage of the enormous opportunities the broader industry represents in developing technologies that help life on Earth.

“Underpinned by a strong STEM education focus, the Australian Space Discovery Centre will highlight diverse opportunities available in the space sector, including careers in manufacturing, engineering, space medicine, geology, AI and computing.”

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the start of construction meant another critical boost for SA’s economy.

“This is part of the Adelaide City Deal which is delivering on its promise to not only transform Adelaide but provide employment opportunities for locals,” Mr Tudge said.

“From those who will help build the centre, to those who will eventually work in it, we are creating local jobs at a crucial time as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Premier Steven Marshall said the Australian Space Discovery Centre and Mission Control would bolster South Australia’s reputation as the space capital of the nation.

“Companies from across the space sector are flocking to our innovation precinct, Lot Fourteen, and creating a pipeline of jobs for current and future generations.

“This sector will be critical in South Australia’s economic recovery from the global coronavirus pandemic.”

An artist’s impression of the exhibition space within the Australian Space Discovery Centre, being developed at Lot Fourteen.

Head of the Australian Space Agency Dr Megan Clark AC said programs and activities in the Australian Space Discovery Centre would be informed by the seven National Civil Space Priorities in the Government’s Australian Civil Space Strategy.

These include position, navigation and timing; communications technology; earth observation; robotics and automation on Earth and in space; and space situational awareness and debris monitoring.

“We would love the Australian Space Discovery Centre to become a place where the community can come together to explore the latest innovations in space technologies and learn about Australia’s role in expanding national and international space activities,” Dr Clark said.

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