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Australian government announces creation of new space agency

Move over NASA, Straya is making its very own space agency.

The announcement is part of a bold plan to get the first koala on the moon.

OK, that’s not true. ABC reports that the government is creating the space agency to grab a slice of the $420 billion industry and create thousands of new jobs in the process.

Do you remember the Kiwis? That little nation to the south. As well as soundly beating us in rugby and internet speeds, they – like most other developed nations – already have a space agency. Come on, we can’t have the Kiwis beating us in space too.

“The global space industry is growing rapidly and it’s crucial that Australia is part of this growth,” said Senator Michaelia Cash, the acting Minister of Industry, Innovation and Science. “A national space agency will ensure we have a strategic long-term plan that supports the development and application of space technologies and grows our domestic space industry.”

Full details of the plan will be revealed by the government at the 68th International Astronautical Congress, which is being held in little old Adelaide from September 25 – 29.

Not to be outdone, the Opposition is also cooking up a space plan of its own.

Does this mean that the Labour and Liberal parties will bicker for years about the right way to do space, resulting in nothing getting done? Hold me, I’m having NBN flashbacks.

Frontrunners for the location of the agency are Canberra and Adelaide, with the governments of ACT and SA putting in a joint bid last month.

News of the announcement hit the front page of Reddit’s r/Australia with over 1500 upvotes and 300 comments.

The top comment is an absolute beauty with user “mightybonk” writing he can’t wait to see what a coal-powered rocket looks like.

There are also some inevitable references to botched large-scale projects such as the NBN.

“I figured they would go with RTTN (Rocket to the Near Earth Orbit) and then use a fire extinguisher to make the last little bit because it’s cheaper,” wrote user “boyter” in another popular comment.

When it comes to science, the government’s track record isn’t so hot. In 2014, the Tony Abbott led Coalition cut $400 million from research institutions and last year, the Turnbull government tried to take an axe to the CSIRO.

Although details are still emerging, the new agency will apparently focus on the designing satellites and developing new technologies for future space missions. That’s if the Government doesn’t manage to drop the ball.

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based freelance writer. In his spare time, he plays tennis badly, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin. Follow Stefan on Twitter

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