Moon to Mars Demonstrator Feasibility Grants funds 3 WA projects

Three Western Australian organisations have been awarded $600,000 in funding as part of the federal government’s Moon to Mars Demonstrator Feasibility Grants program. 

These local organisations will develop technologies to support future space missions, receiving $200,000 each. 

A total of 20 organisations across Australia have each received funding to conduct feasibility testing and transfer their projects from concept to next generation space products and services. 

“It’s fantastic to see the potential of these Western Australian projects recognised with Moon to Mars Demonstrator Feasibility grants,” Western Australian Science minister Roger Cook said. 

“The projects highlight the important contribution Western Australia is making to space exploration, research and commercial activities. 

“As home to some of the most innovative organisations in the world, we are committed to harnessing opportunities that grow our space sector, which is key to diversifying our economy and creating new high skilled jobs across the state,” Cook said. 

Headquartered in Perth, the Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth (AROSE) consortium is part of two successful projects to receive funding in Western Australia. 

One project led by AROSE will demonstrate the feasibility of an Australian operated Lunar Construction Rover and develop a business and commercialisation plan to secure further investment. 

AROSE will also support Queensland University of Technology and Canadian space technology company MDA, to develop a robotic solution to handle logistics within NASA’s future Lunar Gateway space station. 

The Western Australian government has committed $1.5 million over three years to AROSE, between 2020 and 2023. 

Another local project from Curtin University will use its Binar Prospector to lay the foundations for proposed future Moon missions, locating and producing high resolution digital resource mapping on the Moon using their Binar CubeSat space craft. 

In January 2021, the state government announced it had invested $500,000 into Curtin University’s Binar Space Program. 

Meanwhile, the University of Western Australia, in collaboration with Fugro Marine Australia, will demonstrate the feasibility of their optical laser technology to provide communications support for NASA’s inspirational Artemis Program. This will aim to send the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024. 

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