In Summary

  • Swinburne hosts launch for the Victorian Government's bid to secure Australia’s space agency
  • Event took place at Swinburne’s Eric Ormond Baker Charitable Fund Remote Observing Facility
  • Facility enables researchers to manage the world’s most powerful telescopes and then analyse the data to find the fastest explosions in the Universe.

The Victorian Government has launched a new campaign at Swinburne University of Technology to make Victoria the home of the new Australian Space Agency.

Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll joined Victorian Lead Scientist Dr Amanda Caples and Associate Professor Alan Duffy at Swinburne to promote Victoria’s aerospace capabilities.

Swinburne’s Associate Professor Alan Duffy says data science, artificial intelligence research and development collaborations showed the local industry’s strength.

"Our state is ready to support the growth of the Australian space industry that operates on a global scale and beyond," says Associate Professor Alan Duffy.

The launch took place at Swinburne’s world-class Eric Ormond Baker Charitable Fund Remote Observing Facility, which uniquely enables researchers to remotely control twin Keck Observatory telescopes in Hawaii from Melbourne.

Minister Ben Carroll meeting Swinburne PhD student Gary at space station campaign launch

More than 9000 kilometres from the observatory, Swinburne astronomers have been able to control the Keck telescopes with a direct video link to the telescopes since 2009 from an on-campus control room.

Using the WM Keck Observatory’s cutting-edge instrumentation, Swinburne astronomers have produced landmark discoveries about the Universe such as:

Keck telescopes in the evening

State Industry Minister Ben Carroll says Victoria is the ideal home for the new agency and its advanced manufacturing and data science sectors, with more than one-in-five Australian space-related science and technology companies based here.

“Victoria has generations of manufacturing experience and major companies willing to invest. This makes us the perfect home for the Australian Space Agency,” says Minister Carroll.