SA to get nation's first mission control

Patrick James

South Australia has been chosen for the nation's only space mission control, creating Australia's first space hub.

The Mission Control Centre will allow researchers and astronautical companies to control missions and communicate with astronauts at the International Space Station from Adelaide's CBD.

Local company Saber Astronautics will receive $6 million from the Federal Government and $2.5 million from the State Government to establish the facility.

The centre will be constructed within the Australian Space Agency's headquarters in Adelaide's innovation precinct Lot Fourteen, planned to open in early 2021.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the Mission Control Centre would help grow Australia's space sector and will promote jobs within SA.

"Space is also an incredible tool which can help other Australian industries to grow - from making our farmers more productive to giving our advanced manufacturers new supply chains to become a part of," she said.

It will launch alongside the Space Discovery Centre, an international educational facility aimed at promoting the next generation of the nation's space industry.

Head of the Australian Space Agency Dr Megan Clark AC said the centre would become a focal point for Australia's national space activities.

"The centre will be available for use by start-ups and small-to-medium enterprises, as well as research and educational institutions to control space assets," she said.

The Federal Government is investing $700 million into the space sector, planning to triple its size to $12 billion and add an extra 20,000 jobs by 2030.