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The space sector is undergoing rapid geostrategic, technological and industrial change and will be critical to Australian national security and economic growth in coming decades.
New actors, like private commercial enterprises, are driving novel technologies and industries in space. The unshackling of the space industry from largely government-derived sources of revenue has helped accelerate this growth. Government space programs and agencies are commissioning more services and products from the commercial space industry, while continuing to focus on high-risk scientific missions. As more nations have invested in modernising their military forces and as access to sophisticated space capabilities has become cheaper, the spectre of accidental and deliberate conflict in space is rising.
Australia and the United States have a growing confluence of interests in space:
Australia’s new space agency should consider establishing projects with the United States that help build-out Australia’s domestic space industry and align with US strategic goals. Australia should: