How difficult can this be?
C'mon, seriously? No organizational NAME, deadline or BUDGET? How difficult can this be?
It ain't rocket science, folks!
Australia's government has committed to starting a space agency, but there are no details about its mission other than a vague commitment to helping industry. The government has already initiated a Review of Australia's Space Industry Capability. Acting minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, senator the Hon Michaelia …
When you are a government without a plan, no policy beyond a dollar in a pocket, no clue, struggling to spell s.c.i.e.n.c.e, and their only capability is answering Dorothy Dix's in question time, stardust and BS seem better than their typical day, Some voters might believe, but those with functioning brains understand it for what it is (not).
Actually, I think Woomera was part of the British space program, before the program got cancelled due to short-sighted budget cuts (and back in the days when Australia did anything the "Mother Country" told it to do)
Interesting fact: a "woomera" is an Aboriginal spear-throwing stick - a sort of notched stick used to give extra leverage when throwing a spear. Apparently the town got its name after the local aborigines decided that the the British were building a new, very big, spear-throwing gadget there - a pretty accurate description of what they were actually doing (mostly ballistic missiles).
Last time I was there, the town was pretty run-down. Maybe it can be be revived if this goes ahead.
Britain being the only nation to launch a satellite, and then give it up.
Add Australia to that list.
In November 1967 Australia launched WRESAT, designed and built in 11 months, from Woomera aboard a left-over American Redstone booster (10 were provided for warhead re-entry tests, but only 9 were used for that program).
Too late Oz, we've already got one over here in Aotearoa - it's called Mahia. It has needed no government input other than permission to launch (out over the South Pacific, no-one's head to land on, and no planes to worry about, so very few restrictions). It's all been done by our very own Kiwi Rocket Man, one Peter Beck. His RocketLab is about to launch its second rocket, with actual, real payloads on board. Now there's confidence for you - all they have to do is get the support company to remember to turn on the forward error correction on the telemetry receiver, and you can be sure this time they will. So put that in your didgeridoo and smoke it!
"The fact that its future existence was first revealed to media in the city of Adelaide ..."
*Adelaide*? Let me get this straight - the best place for a spaceport would be as close to the equator as possible, so NT or North QLD are prime candidates... but they announce the agency in Adelaide?
(NB for our non-Aussie friends: Adelaide is on the SOUTH side of the continent, well away from the equator).
"Yes, a spaceport should be near the equator, but a spacepork is best situated near a dense mass of potential votes."
I would love to know what kind of words you've got stored in your auto correct. Anyway, maybe you're thinking subconsciously that Oz will get a space agency when pigs fly (in space)?
While South Oz does face the southern edge of the continent, the geometry of the continent is such that bits of the coast are relatively northish... I resided in Whyalla for a couple of years which is further north than Sydney. (and worked north of Woomera at times)
This doesnt make it better than north Qld, or NT, so other factors come into consideration. Perhaps they would like to drop stuff into the ocean, not going to get away with that around Queensland, and probably not a good idea in the Torres Strait.
No one in federal government is going to give this to West Oz.
Biggest issue I see is psychology, Adelaide/SA is home to psycho murderer corpse collecting loonies, but they listen to COUNTRY MUSIC in Queensland.
Actually the 19th century abandoned town south of Cape York tip would be ideal. Alternatively Albany Island just off east coast of said townsite. Lots of empty water to east where things may drop into deep water. There was a brief flurry of suggestions a decade or two ago that a site there could be leased to a joint project with Russians but friends do not let friends/lackies mix with those sort of people. </sarcasm>
Yes, its not about launching things.
It would be more likely about building satellites or other space technology.
Adelaide has a history of high tech stuff. Apart from supporting Woomera they had some quite advanced weapons research work, and things like over-the-horizon radar.
Perhaps we can marry it up with our mining expertise and build stuff for mining asteroids.
Adelaide is the closest state capital to Woomera, which is in South Australia. If you watch old footage of rocket launches there, you'll notice they start at a fairly significant angle.
As a bonus for non-Australians, Woomera was also the site of one of our "state-of-the-art" immigrant detention centres. (The "art" being locking people up to no great purpose in sub-human conditions for long periods. An art we no longer practise in this country, we outsourced it to small islands.)
The fact that Christopher Pyne and a few of his South Australian colleagues are sliding in popularity may also have something to do with the decision.
But congratulations as it seems they are about at the point the British National Space Centre was at when it was established.
Basically a "buyers club" for UK ministerial departments buying payloads and satellite services with no independent budget (operating funds chipped in by the client departments).
They promptly established a them park for space (the British Space Centre) in Leicester.
It took decades to become the British Space Agency, and get an independent budget.
Although the technical and engineering knowledge of Aussie Scientists would, I'm sure, be more than up to the job of a space program, there would be a severe danger of the rockets launching, turning around in mid air, and returning to the space center. This certainly must be a risk to consider.
A mission to Mars must be easy for Australia(ns), the country/continent is already actively trying to kill anything that inhabits it, temperatures are blazing hot or freezing cold, there's no water to be found for hundreds of miles in many places and the sand is very reddish indeed. Seems like the perfect place to find Mars colonists.
It's an excuse to pour money into hi-tech boondoggles in South Australia - i.e. a pork-barrelling exercise to win some votes in marginal seats.
For those unacquainted with South Australia, it is basically an arid desert state, very isolated from the eastern states, in dire need of anything to boost its economy, and also happens to be the home of Woomera (rocket range used by the Brits 60 years ago) and the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.
The Australian federal government has a history of large boondoggles in bizarre locations that frankly don't make any rational sense in order to prop up a state economy that would otherwise have failed long ago. Sheep farming in a desert (why, you might ask, as many perished in the attempt), Woomera (abandoned decades ago), car manufacturing (sense finally prevailed at the hands of accountants), a submarine base (on the wrong side of a very large continent)
Actually, the sheep farming in the desert is easy to explain: After a couple of very-unusually wet years, the desert looked lush and the farmers demanded they be allowed to go out there until the government caved and let them. Then the rains (expectedly) didn't come again.
Classic example of governments and the general populace ignoring scientists.
Hey, wearables meet all the same points as a space program. There's no unmet need for it, no viable plan to make it real or any notion of what to do with it if it somehow is actually constructed. And what else but wearable tech has the ability to waste as much money for so little return as a poorly-run space program?
So, exactly the same economics as the 20-years old and counting "NASA Mars Initiative" first blithered about by King George the Second, then by Barack Obama and, when he can figure out that the "Hillary Clinton wagon" is falling apart, Donald Trump, all to draw attention away from flubs, fumbles and uckfups.
Think of how much interest in space Gene Roddenberry generated with just a few cardboard sets, a couple stagehands to make a whooshing sound as they manually opened and closed the turbolift doors, and a bunch of props and costumes left over from old Westerns/gladiator flicks/medieval dramas/etc. Experience shows that you don't even need good actors to pull it off!
(You will need to train the cameraman to tilt the lens back and forth and have the bridge crew stagger from side-to-side when the Klingons attack though.)
Come on people, this is a play straight out of yes minister...... get a series of bad events and bad polls...... announce a new <thingy = distraction>,Fast Train, Northern Australia development region .... Think Snowy Mountains 2, now a space thingy
Malcolm doing bad in the polls??? Honestly have they just been watching Utopia as a documentary?!?!?!?
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