The Morrison Government is building a stronger economy by helping local companies to build space equipment and explore space with around $3.5 million in funding to boost the emerging space industry.Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said $2.5 million will fund the Space Payload Qualification Facilities project to grow local space capabilities. “This initiative will provide the infrastructure for small and medium enterprises to test and validate space equipment in Australia, without having to send work overseas. “The Morrison Government wants to improve our sovereign capabilities in all things to do with space - our aim is to make Australia a leader in the great space adventure we have embraced,” Minister Andrews said. “The project will seek contributions from states and territories and industry to support its development.” The Morrison Government is also providing $900,000 to explore Australia’s growing readiness in launch capability. “With such active interest from across Australia, we need to ensure our risk frameworks are appropriate and we meet our international and national obligations,” Minister Andrews said. “This project will investigate the economic and policy issues posed by a domestic small launch capability, compliance with international obligations, national legislation and regulatory and risk frameworks to protect our national interests, environment and safety.” The Pathway to Launch project will build on related work underway in the states and territories. Funding for both projects is part of the $19.5 million Space Infrastructure Fund announced in this year’s Budget. Through investments such as this, the Morrison Government is fostering a competitive and sustainable industry, with the ultimate aim of creating another 20,000 jobs and tripling the size of the space sector to $12 billion by 2030. This will be aided by the expansion of space industries in the states and territories, and is part of our plan to drive further economic growth and create an additional 1.25 million jobs over the next five years.