13th October 2021 – (Canberra) An Australian-made rover will be sent to the Moon for the first time under a deal with the United States space agency.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison Tuesday announced a landmark agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that will see a rover built by Australians sent on a lunar mission as early as 2026.
The semi-autonomous vehicle, which will weigh less than 20kg, will be used to collect lunar soil that contains oxygen atoms on an exploration mission.
Morrison said the deal would create new jobs in Australia’s growing space industry.
Australian businesses and research organizations will be invited to apply to be a part of the rover team later in 2021, with successful applicants “expected to provide a financial contribution to the project.”
The Australian Space Agency was established in 2018 with a goal of creating 20,000 new jobs and increasing the annual value of the domestic space industry to 12 billion Australian dollars (8.8 billion U.S. dollars) by 2030.