THE UK, AUSTRALIA, ITALY, (AND CHINA) AND SPACE

THE UK, AUSTRALIA, ITALY, (AND CHINA) AND SPACE…

There's a strange article out of Australia that a regular reader, J.D., shared, and it has my mind working at the end of the high octane speculation twig. The story concerns Australia and its space program. Normally, most people don't think of Australia as a country with much of an interest in space, nor infrastructure to sustain a large space program. We'll get back to that point in a moment, but just for the record, Australia, like most of the Allied countries in World War Two, made off with some Nazi technological loot in the form of a few V-2 rockets. So the interest has always been there. In the period after the war, Australia was the place chosen by Great Britain to test its independently developed a-bombs and later, h-bombs. More recently, there is quiet discussion in Australia about developing its own nuclear weapons, but that's another story for  another time. The point of all this context is simply this: while the space infrastructure might be small, the talent pool is not, and things might be set for that small infrastructure to expand in coming years, and dramatically so. Again, we'll get back to that. Here's the story that J.D. caught and passed along:

Space jobs goal 'realistic' despite inclusion of lawyers, submarine builders and NBN workers

What caught my eye in this article and set me off on my trek to the end of the high octane speculation twig, was this:

Australia's fledgling space agency has "actually been noticed" by the international community, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

But questions remain over whether Australia can meets its goal of trebling jobs within the local space sector inside a decade.

Mr Morrison revealed the Australian Space Agency featured in talks with UK and Italian counterparts at the G7 meeting in France overnight.

He said he was "thrilled" and that there was a "keenness" from the United Kingdom and Italy to engage.

The Agency's goal is to add 20,000 jobs to the space sector (estimated to currently employ 10,000 people) by 2030. (Emphasis added)

This little bit of news - that the United Kingdom and Italy - expressed an interest in Australia's space agency during the recent G7 summit caught my eye, for those two countries are of course the two countries most at odds with Berlin ...er... the European Union. Recent events in Italy  might change that in the short term, as the leader of the M5s party has entered into negotiations with the Democratic party to form a new coalition with (you guessed it) recently retired prime minister Giuseppi Conte as the prime minister. In the long term, however, if there is a return to the policies of Berlin Brussels, that government, I suspect, will not be long for the world, even for an Italian government. Which leaves Italy once again with the problem of with whom to do business, and what kinds of business it wants to do. Space is a natural choice, and if Italy does leave the EU, or modifies its commitments to it, its participation in the European Space Agency my be modified. In other words, in or out of the EU, Italy needs to not put all of its space eggs in one basket. Enter Australia.

Then there's the United Kingdom, and the new Johnson Government. As I will review in the News and Views from the Nefarium, Mr. Johnson has requested that the Crown suspend parliament in order to prevent any last minute law-making which would prevent a hard Brexit on October 31st. This the Queen has done. Mr. Johnson has reiterated his commitment to move forward with Brexit and demonstrated it by his request (though, as I shall mention in my News and Views, I suspect there might be some factors in play that run a bit counter to the public narrative). A hard Brexit would mean the departure of Great Britain from the European Space Agency, and for the British aerospace industry, a replacement has to be found. Prior to the Brexit referendum, I predicted that if indeed British voters approved a Brexit, that the response would be to revivify the Commonwealth in the form of a trading (and cultural) bloc, and this appears to be what might be behind these talks. So herewith a small prediction: look for Australia to beef up its space program - and especially its satellite launching capability - with bi-lateral trade and technology deals, and particularly with Britain.  Italy, I suspect, will come along eventually.

Hovering in the background here, of course, is China, and from the geopolitical point of view, Australia needs that expansion of its own independent space capability, which such agreements could provide. If and when Trudeau's government falls in Canada, watch for some interesting meetings on space matters to take place between the big three of the Commonwealth: the U.K., Australia, and Canada.

See you on the flip side...

12 thoughts on “THE UK, AUSTRALIA, ITALY, (AND CHINA) AND SPACE…”

  1. Yes!!! PINE GAP is key to all space talk here on Earth. One of the whistleblowers spoke of how in the 70’s he was present when a party of the “others” were in charge of the underground base being built, or added to, & upon its completion, the humans had to battle for its control!!!

    Another interesting note about Pine Gap was given by Bob Dean who related a story one of his Army friends gave him. At some base in the SW here in the U.S. his friend was told to put on a summer uniform & report to a certain building; which he did. He was then led to an “elevator” he did not know existed, was told to enter & push a certain button. When the door opened, he was greeted by a soldier who said, “Welcome to Pine Gap, Sir!”

    So, as Joseph says, “There is much more going on behind the scenes!” We The People have been kept in the dark since WW II about all the leaps made in the “space world”!! Now those in control have to figure out how to catch The Public up-to-date with where we are REALLY at in that respect!! In a way it is amusing to watch!! 😉

  2. Israel too has little in the way of launch trajectories.

    The NBN, is a farce compared to Labor’s 2008 all fibre optic to 90%+, coming in just as expensive, and hitting a technical wall of copper/fibre/wireless vs all fibre.

    Mentioning that in the same sentence as space tech is not encouraging.

  3. Leaving aside the SSP and other ‘exotic’ avenues for now, SpaceX (and to a much less extent Blue Origin) has revivified the space arena with reusable rockets. Slash costs to orbit by 2-5 times, and – what do you know – new possibilities start to appear! I believe we are at the ‘land rush’ phase of a real move into space. (Not one of a ‘plant the flag and leave’ nature.)

    As Joseph has noted, we may be looking at a ‘reshuffling’ along Commonwealth versus EU lines. (I guess England got tired of playing nice with Germany.) Reminds me a little of the games being played shuffling power blocs within the ‘novel’ 1984.

    The above ‘reshuffling’ would include Space. England has little in the way of usable launch trajectories (except to polar orbits, by way of Scotland), as you launch East to take advantage of Earth’s spin. Australia, on the other hand…

  4. EU=NAZI INC. as for Britain, Australia space industries partnership trow in Italy as well. You forgot the USA Joseph if off the books Australia would a great place to move Area 51 to lots of space to test off the books technology.

    1. mt, I believe Australia has had its “Area51” for years. It’s called Pine Gap, close to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.
      It’s a joint base between the US and Australia.

  5. Hmm interesting and could be related…
    newshttps://www.industry.gov.au/news-media/australian-space-agency-news/australia-set-to-welcome-jaxas-hayabusa2

    Japanese Craft (with Asteroid samples) to land at Woomerra.
    Quarantine measures will be interesting.
    I wonder what Dark Journalist makes of this too. I’m still only up to ep10 of the x series.

  6. Globalist backlash against Italy, and a new “cabal”-oriented government without the League is likely to be formed under the same outgoing premier Mr Conte. This classical “Mister Nobody” does have the “defect” of not having attended the Bilderberg meetings, but he did just attend the G7 meeting at Biarritz, where he met the “Troika” Merkel – Macron – Tusk. It is unclear what outgoing EU commissioner Tusk was doing there, at a meeting of heads of government. Or maybe not so unclear.

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