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Subject: Australia needs space program - report
Volkodav    11/12/2008 5:44:44 AM
The Australian By Samuel Cardwell | November 12, 2008 Article from: Australian Associated Press AUSTRALIA needs its own space agency like NASA in the US, a Senate report recommends. The Senate Standing Committee on Economics said Australia is missing out on significant innovation and technology opportunities because it lacks a space agency. The committee's report, Lost in Space? Setting a new direction for Australia's space science and industry sector, said the government should establish a Space Industry Advisory Council to oversee the creation of a fully-fledged agency. The council would be made up of industry representatives, government agencies, defence personnel, and academics and chaired by the federal innovation minister. "The committee believes it is not good enough for Australia to be lost in space," the report said. "It is time to set some clear directions. "The Australian Government should have a space policy and, like most other comparable countries, an agency to implement it." The report noted that, even though Australia was the fourth nation to build and launch a satellite from its own territory, it is now almost completely reliant on satellites owned and operated by other countries. Rebecca Skinner from the Department of Defence told the inquiry that while arrangements with Australia's allies met the nation's defence needs, the situation may change as demand increases. "The higher operational tempo of recent years and consequent demand for space products has highlighted that assured access to allied systems may not necessarily be guaranteed in all circumstances," she said. The committee concluded it would be unlikely that Australia would regain its role as a launch site. Among other possible projects highlighted by the committee was the building of a space elevator, essentially an extremely strong cable stretching from the surface up into space, off the coast of Western Australia.
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Aussiegunneragain       11/12/2008 6:31:27 AM

Among other possible projects highlighted by the committee was the building of a space elevator, essentially an extremely strong cable stretching from the surface up into space, off the coast of Western Australia.
Excellent, I could shag in an elevator and join the mile high club at the same time. Two "must do" notches on the belt at once :-).

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Lawman       11/12/2008 7:04:22 AM
I've met Andy Thomas (the Aussie NASA astronaut), and he's a really good guy. A national program, depending on the scope, could be a good idea, but is potentially very expensive. A combined program, perhaps with Canada and the UK (which itself is under pressure to end it's opposition to manned spaceflight expenditure) could work. One interesting possibility might actually be the SpaceX Dragon, if it ever gets off the ground! Since the Dragon is supposed to be relatively affordable, it could allow such a project to work - also, if it works well enough, it could ween NASA and the ESA off using Soyuz... Soyuz may be reliable, but it does leave you very exposed to Russian demands (notably demanding more money for launches) when the Shuttle is grounded and it's replacement isn't ready. Dragon has the potential to solve many of these problems - if it works..........................
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DropBear       11/12/2008 11:41:14 PM
Exactly how do they hope to fund our very own NOZSA (National Aussie Space Agency)?
Tuckshop money funding left over from what DoD can spare perhaps?
I know, another Sir Joh FNQ Space Port in the making...
I think we should stick to what we know telescopes and the like.
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Arty Farty       11/13/2008 3:03:18 AM
 *Guess we've found what we could do with the F-111s*
Aviation Week
Dassault Pitches Rafale As Small Sat Launcher
Nov 3, 2008

By Robert Wall" align="left" alt="" />

Dassault is showing new details of its concept to use the Rafale strike fighter as a small satellite launcher.

The launcher would be configured to use several of the aircraft?s weapons store stations. The main element of the launcher would be carried centerline, with two solid boosters slung under the wing. The solids would be connected to the main launcher through so-called ?fixed arms.?

The configuration would still leave clearance for the landing gear, so the Rafale could return to base with the launcher if that were required.

Dassault has been working with the French space agency CNES on the small satellite launcher concept for about four years.

The goal is to loft a 150 kilogram payload into a 800 kilometer orbit. The launcher weighs around 10 metric tons.

The system would meet ?defense and security? needs, Dassault says. French military officials have signaled some interest in a responsive space launcher concept similar to what the United States is investigating.

Image: Dassault

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