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Team Artemis Australia – the new era of lunar exploration

Posted January 22, 2024

The Australian Space Agency platform to drive investment, international collaboration, and partnerships in this new era of lunar exploration.

Lot Fourteen is home to the Australian Space Agency headquarters, and the Australian Space Discovery Centre – a centrepiece in inspiring the next STEM workforce and telling Australia’s story in space – where we’ve been and where we’re heading.

The Australian Space Agency’s neighbours include a high calibre list of space companies such as Neumann Space, Saber Astronautics, QuantX Labs, Inovor Technologies and SmartSat CRC. Each is carving their own piece of space history through demonstrating Australia’s world-leading capabilities, including those that can contribute to this new era of lunar exploration.

Team Artemis Australia is a global engagement and technical platform created and spearheaded by the Australian Space Agency. Aligned with NASA’s Moon to Mars strategy, the platform brings together Australia’s world-leading, unique and specialised capabilities across government, industry and academia that can contribute to NASA’s Artemis and other Moon to Mars programs.

Australia’s global partners have quickly recognised Australia’s expertise in robotics and automation, remote operations and optical communications. Global space agencies including the European Space Agency, NASA, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and the Indian Space Research Organisation all have a desire to partner with Australia to advance our respective space capabilities, which can also have applications to lunar missions such as Artemis.

Stage One of the Australian Space Agency’s Trailblazer program is underway with two consortia – AROSE and ELO2 – working on the design phase of a semi-autonomous lunar rover. As part of NASA’s Artemis Program, the Australian built and operated rover will be sent to the Moon to collect lunar soil – known as regolith – in what will be a major step towards releasing a sustainable human presence on the Moon and supporting future missions to Mars.

While the rover is a significant Australian contribution to Artemis, Head of the Australian Space Agency, Enrico Palermo, says its important Australia’s space ecosystem has opportunities to apply its capabilities in other ways through major exploration program such as Artemis.

“Australia is building a reputation as a competitive, entrepreneurial and talented space nation,” Palermo says. “We now have a significant opportunity to play an even greater role in the Artemis future.”

Introducing Team Artemis Australia. 

“Ultimately, Team Artemis Australia places a global spotlight on Australian space capabilities,” Palermo says. “We view it as an investment attraction tool, with the aim to foster international partnerships, identify opportunities for collaboration, and drive more private investment into the Australian space sector.

“While the Moon is our first step beyond Earth, approaching our contribution to the Artemis Program from the Moon to Mars lens encourages us to not just join, but become and remain a leading part of space exploration and science into the future – always with a view to how these investments improve life on Earth.”

A new Team Artemis Australia interactive tool explaining the platform is available on the Agency’s website, and it’s also exploring other ways for industry to further embed itself in Team Artemis Australia to effectively promote its capabilities to the world.

“As an Agency, it’s important that we use our position to provide industry with a platform to showcase the specialised capabilities we have to offer,” Palermo says.

“As we continue to evolve Team Artemis Australia, the platform will become fundamental in promoting Australia’s space sector and driving greater opportunities for us to contribute to major global space exploration programs.”

Break out boxes
Lot Fourteen houses several companies that have been supported by Australian Space Agency programs, such as the Moon to Mars initiative. These are examples of capabilities that can sit under the Team Artemis Australia banner.

Saber Astronautics
Lot Fourteen is home to a national Mission Control Centre operated by Saber Astronautics, from inside the Australian Space Discovery Centre. The Responsive Space Operations Centre(TM) was established with the help of a $6 million grant through the Agency’s Space Infrastructure Fund. It is a major hub for the space traffic efforts, leading the Pacific region and at the same time conducts next-gen command and control for multi-tonne spacecraft worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Inovor Technologies
Inovor is using Agency funding to deliver the first rapid, high-reliability and cost competitive satellite manufacturing capability in Australia. Designed to meet the needs of the Australian Government, Defence and commercial customers, it will deliver manufacturing equipment, optimised design parameters and processes to support the manufacture of reliable space electronics.

QuantX Labs
With an ambitious plan to launch one of the globe’s most complex quantum devices into orbit, QuantX Labs knows that the sky is not the limit. Their Kairos-1 Mission will build a next-generation atomic clock that can be used for space navigation, timing and synchronisation, as well as delivering timing and navigation signals to the ground.

SpIRIT Satellite project
Inovor Technologies and Neumann Space are partnering with the University of Melbourne to build the first Australian-made spacecraft to host a foreign space agency payload. The innovative satellite will carry the Italian Space Agency’s advanced X-ray detector that will look for high-energy gamma ray bursts in space. Inovor is building the satellite bus, while Neumann Space is integrating its propulsion system.


Read more stories like this on Issue_02 of Lot Fourteen’s Boundless Magazine

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