Space Agencies Sign Agreements to Advance Artemis Lunar Program, Commercial Space Activities

Updated Nov. 4, 2019 at 12:45 PST to include agreement between U.S. Department of Commerce and CNES.

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The world’s space agencies were busy signing agreements last month to advance lunar exploration and commercial space activities during the International Astronautical Conference in Washington, DC.

NASA signed agreements with the European Space Agency (ESA) and three national agencies in Europe focused on advancing America’s Artemis program, which aims to land astronauts on the moon in 2024.

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Maxar, Australian Space Agency Sign Cooperative Agreement

WASHINGTON, DC (Australian Government PR) — The Australian Space Agency has signed a Statement of Strategic Intent and Cooperation with US based company Maxar Technologies overnight at the 70th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Washington DC.

Maxar is a global provider of advanced space-based technology solutions, with significant global expertise in Earth Observation and Robotics and Automation. They deliver leading integrated capabilities in Earth imagery, geospatial data, analytics and insights, satellites, and robotics to governments and businesses around the world.

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Science Minister Hails ‘Incredible Strength’ of UK Space Industry

Chris Skidmore
  • New funding for UK business ideas to fly to the International Space Station
  • UK Space Agency to support one million STEM interactions with young people.
  • £20 million from government’s  Strategic Priorities Fund to upgrade UK capabilities in space weather modelling and measurement and £1.3 million for horizontal spaceport plans in England, Scotland and Wales.

NEWPORT, Wales (UK Government PR) — A new package of space funding was unveiled by Science Minister Chris Skidmore at the UK Space Conference in Newport today (Tuesday 24 September).

The government is committed to developing the UK’s national space capabilities while stepping up international collaborations, including through the European Space Agency.

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UK, Australian Space Agencies Agree to Develop a World’s First ‘Space Bridge’

NEWPORT, Wales (UK Space Agency PR) — The proposed ‘Space Bridge’, borne out of the highly successful ‘FinTech Bridge’ already in existence between the UK and Australia, will unlock greater collaboration between governments, regulators and industry.

The agreement, announced this morning at the UK Space Conference will further the ambitions set out in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two agencies in October 2018 and lay the foundations for swift and amicable negotiations for space-related opportunities under any potential future UK-Australia trading arrangements.

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Investment Minister Reinforces Support for Trade in Space Sector

Graham Stuart (Credit: Chris McAndrew)
  • Minister for Investment delivers a keynote speech at UK Space Conference in Newport
  • DIT announces support for £100m investment in Leicester Space Park that will create more than 2,500 jobs by 2020
  • Australian-UK Space Bridge to unlock growth and increase innovation in both countries

NEWPORT, Wales (UK Government PR) — On Tuesday, 24 September, the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) Minister for Investment, Graham Stuart, delivered a keynote speech at the UK Space Conference 2019 in Newport, Wales to reinforce the government’s commitment to boosting investment and exports in the UK space sector.

UK space exports are set to grow to £25bn in the next decade, meeting the industry and government target for space exports to make up 60% of the sector’s revenue by 2030.

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Backing Australian Business, Jobs for the US Moon to Mars Mission

NASA Deputy Administrator Jim Morhard, second from left, shakes hands with Dr. Megan Clark, Head of the Australian Space Agency, second from right, as they pose for a photo with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, left, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, right, following the signing of a letter of intent between NASA and the Australian Space Agency, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

CANBERRA (Karen Andrews PR) — The Morrison Government is positioning Australia for lift-off with a $150 million [US $101.5 million] investment into our local businesses and new technologies that will support NASA on its inspirational campaign to return to the Moon and travel to Mars.

The five year investment will see the Australian Space Agency foster the new ideas and hi-tech skilled jobs that will make Australian businesses a partner of choice to fit out NASA missions.

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Australia to Support NASA’s Plan to Return to the Moon and on to Mars

WASHINGTON (Australian Space Agency PR) — The Australian Space Agency and NASA have launched a new partnership on future space cooperation. This includes the opportunity for Australia to join the United States’ Moon to Mars exploration approach, including NASA’s Artemis lunar program.

The Australian Government is investing $150 million [US $101.5 million] over five years for Australian businesses and researchers to join NASA’s endeavour, and deliver key capabilities for the mission. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the investment would benefit all Australians with more jobs, new technologies and more investment in businesses that would grow the economy.

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Australian Government Commits to Join NASA in Lunar Exploration and Beyond

WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced his nation’s intention to join the United States’ Moon to Mars exploration approach, including NASA’s Artemis lunar program.

The announcement took place at a ceremony Saturday at NASA Headquarters in Washington during which NASA Deputy Administrator, Jim Morhard, and Head of the Australian Space Agency, Megan Clark, signed a joint statement of intent. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Australian Ambassador to the United States Joe Hockey and U.S. Ambassador to Australia Arthur Culvahouse Jr. also participated in the ceremony.

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Skykraft, Equatorial Launch Australia Sign Letter of Intent for Strategic Partnership

Letter of Strategic Intent

Skykraft Pty Ltd and Equatorial Launch Australia Pty Ltd (ELA) agree to develop a strategic relationship that leverages the strengths of both companies. Those being, Skykraft as a designer and manufacturer of small satellite (SmallSAT) constellations for a broad range of space-based services, and ELA as the operator of Australia’s first commercial spaceport, located near Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory.

The combination of Skykraft’s rapid constellation design and manufacture capability, plus ELA’s ability to tailor the launch options through their established spaceport and access to a wide selection of launch vehicles, provides Australia and the broader space community with an end-to-end solution for rapid, flexible and responsive space access.

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Return and Recovery Plan for Hayabusa2 Sample Return Capsule

Hayabusa-2 spacecraft (Credit: Akihiro Ikeshita / JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — This report concerns the current status of the return and recovery plan of the Hayabusa2 sample return capsule.

At the end of 2020, Hayabusa2 plans to return to the Earth with the samples collected from asteroid Ryugu. As with the recovery of the first Hayabusa in 2010, JAXA is currently working with the Australian Government to support the recovery of the Hayabusa2 re-entry capsule in 2020 at the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) located in the outback desert of South Australia.

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ESA, Australian Space Agency Sign Cooperation Agreement

CANBERRA (Australia Ministry for Industry, Science and Technology PR) — Australia could work with Europe on future space missions, thanks to a joint statement of intent signed between the Australian Space Agency and the European Space Agency.

The statement outlines an intention to explore deeper cooperation and identify projects in a range of areas including deep space, communications, navigation, remote asset management, data analytics and mission support.

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Australia Set to Welcome JAXA’s Hayabusa2 Return Capsule

Figure 2: Touchdown image overlapped with the planned touchdown site. The white dot at the end of the arrow is the target marker. (Credit: JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu, AIST)

CANBERRA (Australian Space Agency PR — To learn more about the solar system’s origin and evolution, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is investigating typical types of asteroids. Analysing samples from asteroids enables us to study organic matter and water in the solar system.

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