4 mins read 17 Aug 2022

Airbus to join Australian Space Park

International aerospace and aviation company, Airbus, has announced its commitment to becoming part of the Australian Space Park in Adelaide, SA.

Airbus’ Skynet 6A satellite. Credit: Airbus.

A win-win for Airbus and Australia

Early this month, Airbus made the announcement that it will be setting up a new branch at the recently established Space Park in Adelaide, joining other Australian organisations, such as Fleet Space Technologies, and ATSpace - with the company’s investment in our local space ecosystem considered as a win-win partnership for our local space community. Airbus aims to establish a dedicated assembly and integration (AI) presence, which will boost small satellite assembly and integration: a sector in which Australia excels. Airbus will also enable the upscaling and production of larger satellites that weigh up to 300kg.

The giant multi-national organisation already has a commendable track record in the global aerospace sector, employing 125,000 people around the world and is a global pioneer in the manufacturing and delivery of aerospace products, services and solutions.

“Having this company based here, assembling satellites of this size will be a huge step in terms of scale and sophistication of satellites being assembled in Australia,” says Nick Champion, Minister for Trade and Investment in South Australia.

An Airbus representative and Nick Champion MP, Minister for Trade and Investment SA sign an agreement to become part of the Australian Space Park. Credit: Nick Champion MP.

The anticipated increase in satellite manufacturing will help deliver additional industry capability, elevating the South Australian space industry as well as more broadly across the nation. Airbus will bring a wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge that can be transferred to local subject matter experts (SMEs) to further strengthen Australia’s sovereign capability.

“Securing a global name like Airbus in South Australia is a significant coup for our growing space sector," said Peter Malinauskas, Premier of South Australia. "Airbus’ involvement in the Australian Space Park will open a pipeline of opportunities for local manufacturers.”

Representatives from South Australian industry and Airbus stand for a photo at the Australian Space Discovery Centre (ASDC) celebrating the new commitment. Credit: Department for Trade and Investment.

In turn, by investing into the Australian space industry in its early stages, Airbus has untapped an enormous potential which will benefit the company itself. South Australia is quickly making a name for itself in the global space arena, attracting more talent, resources and government investment. Airbus’ status as a leading aeronautics company is sure to benefit from these activities as well as the close proximity to other prominent space companies in the Park, including Fleet Space Technologies, Alauda Aeronautics, ATSpace and Q-CTRL.

“As the burgeoning hub for Australia’s space manufacturing industry, South Australia is the natural choice for Airbus to establish a dedicated satellite assembly and integration presence,” said Richard Franklin, the Airbus Defence and Space Ltd Managing Director. “We look forward to working closely with the Government of South Australia and industry to help lead this vision.”

Airbus will contribute its satellite manufacturing capabilities to the local space industry. Credit: Department for Trade and Investment.

The Australian Space Park

The establishment of the Australian Space Park - Australia’s first dedicated space manufacturing hub, was announced on the 8th December 2021 to boost space manufacturing capability and capacity within a purpose-built facility.

Relatively speaking, our space industry is still in its early stages of development. This means that a tangible return on investment and demonstration of technology readiness is critical. As such, there is no better time than now for the Park to be established, supporting small satellite constellation manufacturing as well as other spacecraft and components.

The Australian Space Park will help to support the national aim to triple space’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product to $12 billion by 2030. It will also boost South Australia’s growing reputation for industry capability within the global space and advanced aerospace sectors.

Airbus join multiple prominent space companies at the Park. Credit: Department for Trade and Investment.

“Adelaide is a great place to do space. We have this fantastic, highly connected city with a great space ecosystem that is very collaborative, very open and very much about welcoming expertise and international companies for partnerships,” said Tiffany Katchmar, Director of the Department for Trade and Investment SA on the Park’s inception. 

Airbus’ involvement in the Australian Space Park will provide a platform for the industry to scale its satellite manufacturing capabilities while boosting Airbus’ globally respected profile. The aerospace company will no doubt become a national asset for Australia to support the government’s wider strategic aspirations of a sustainable space industry.