The space race just got a new contender Down Under.
While most major developed countries have a space agency, Australia never quite got around to setting one up until now. The country, which has traditionally relied primarily on U.S. satellite data, just announced plans to enter the space race and hopefully cash in on the booming business of reaching for the stars.
According to the BBC, Australia already employs around 11,500 people in the space industry, but creating its own agency will give the country a chance to cash in on $420 billion a year global space industry.
“A national space agency will ensure we have a strategic long-term plan that supports the development and application of space technologies and grows our domestic space industry,” acting industry minister Michaelia Cash told Australia’s ABC News.
The government is expected to announce further details at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide this week, with the political parties hashing out their long-term plans.
The agency, by the way, is already Twitter official:
— Simon Birmingham (@Birmo) September 25, 2017