Australia is honoured and excited to announce its intention to bid for the 68th International Astronautical Congress in 2017.

Australia has a strong space heritage that dates back to the early days of the Cold War..   Since then it has been an important contributor to the space sciences, in atmospheric, ionospheric and radio physics, in astronomy, in supporting ground stations that are vital to the American and European space programs for more than 50 years and, more recently, in supporting the return-to-Earth of Japan’s Hyabusa mission.   Australia has made significant investments in advanced optics, control systems, complex systems engineering and communications.  Companies registered in Australia currently operate five capable communications satellites, soon to grow to nine.  These capabilities all contribute to the broader efforts of the global space community.

Australia’s emphasis on global space collaboration extends beyond the technical domain. Since the beginning of the space age, Australia has recognised space as a global commons and worked through international mechanisms to ensure space activities are conducted for the benefit of all humankind.

Australia held the inaugural chair of the UN COPUOS Scientific and Technical Subcommittee for thirty three years and is a signatory to all five international space treaties.  In 2013, the Australian Government released a national space policy that affirms its commitment to a stable and secure space environment.  Australia is a signatory of the MTCR and the Hague Code of Conduct against ballistic missile proliferation.  Australian officials are presently playing an active role in the International Code of Conduct (ICoC) meetings that aim to make space operations safe for all.  Diplomacy is backed by new investments in several ground-based Space Situational Awareness systems and associated funded research.

Australia’s geography – the continent itself and the surrounding seas and oceans compels the nation to be a sophisticated user of remote sensing and position, timing and navigation technologies which are coordinated through a series of domestic and international government-to-government and commercial arrangements.