The Technology Safeguards Agreement (TSA) will allow US companies to conduct space launch activities in Australia and protect US technology, including rockets and satellites.
The signing of the agreement took place within the framework of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s visit to the United States.
In a joint leaders’ statement, Prime Minister Albanese and US President Joe Biden said:
“Our focus on innovation also extends to space…signing a Space Technology Safeguards Agreement will create the potential for new space-related business opportunities.”
The TSA will help Australia’s domestic launch sector and spaceports grow. Australia expects US space launches on Australian soil to create new high-skilled technology jobs and new supply chains.
US launch demand will increase investment in launch infrastructure and grow the Australian launch sector. This will expand the market open to Australian companies and boost the entire local space sector.
Australian Space Agency director Enrico Palermo said it was an important milestone.
“The TSA with the United States will generate new opportunities and investment for our launch sector and is a signal of the continued momentum within Australia’s space ecosystem,” Mr Palermo said.
“TSA increases Australia’s attractiveness as a launch location, in addition to our geography, our ability to access different orbits, our large open ranges, our focus on responsible operations and our alliances of trust to protect sensitive technologies.”
Increased launch activity in Australia is also likely to reduce the cost of access to space through commercial efficiencies and experience. This will make Australia more attractive as a global launch hub and lead to more international and domestic launches in Australia.
Sectors such as construction, transport, hospitality, security, maintenance, operations and logistics will benefit from developments in Australia’s launch industry. Particularly in rural and remote areas where most launch activities will take place.
The TSA places the United States on an equal footing with other international partners launching and returning space technology to Australia. This does not stop Australian companies from creating local launch and satellite technologies and being competitive in a growing global market.
Australia and the United States worked closely to negotiate this framework. The TSA protects the United States while opening major opportunities for trade partnerships and joint investments.
Supported by a whole-of-government effort, the Australian Space Agency led the TSA negotiations.
The EBA is subject to Australia’s final national treaty-making process, and we anticipate it will come into force in 2024.