Sun, 17 Jan 2021

CANBERRA, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- South Australia (SA) has revealed a long-term strategy for its space industry, revealing plans for food production in space and launching satellites.

The state, which is home to the Australian Space Agency, on Wednesday released its Space Sector Strategy, outlining plans to use the burgeoning industry to accelerate the local economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Goals listed in the plan include SA playing an active role in contributing to efforts towards food production in space, leveraging the state's "expertise in food production for extreme environments to support international human spaceflight missions."

It identified the University of Adelaide and Adelaide Botanic Gardens as having the capability to help work on food production in space.

If the goals are achieved the strategy said that SA would become "the Australian centre of expertise in space-based farming and food production."

"While traditional space-related services fundamentally underpin our way of life on Earth and deliver a large proportion of the revenue attributed to the space sector, there are phenomenal opportunities for the new breed of space-related services that are unencumbered by legacy practice," Richard Price, chief executive of the SA Space Industry Centre, said in a media release on Wednesday.

The Strategy said that it means a focus on launch into accessible lower Earth orbits, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to exploit space-derived data, technological advances to develop small satellites, expanding a skilled workforce, and building on the state's innovation ecosystem.

Steven Marshall, the premier of SA, said that the Strategy aims to drive the state's contribution to the Australian Space Agency goal of tripling the size of the nation's domestic space industry to 12 billion Australian dollars (8.8 billion U.S. dollars) by 2030.

"Our vision for growth is simple, by 2030, South Australia will be designing, manufacturing, launching, and operating SmallSats (small satellites) to deliver actionable, space-derived intelligence for sovereign Australian missions, creating hundreds of jobs in the process," he said.

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