|Was recently reading an old article from last year in theaustralian;
In it it details a renewed push for an Australian Space program; part of it was a plan to be the first nation on earth to send a probe into the sun as well as another sat to study the upper atmosphere of Earth.
The cost; $100m over 10 years; I honestly cannot see any reason why this plan should not go ahead, Australia is one of only 2 countries in the top 25 economies of the world to not have a space program (other country is Mexico), $10m a year from a federal budget that ran a surplus of around $20bn this year surely would not break the budget and wouldn't piss short sighted voters off too much.
We were the 4th country in the world to launch a satellite into space, we have the know how, one of the best launch sites in Woomera and it comes at a time where America is losing their grip in Space at a fast rate of knots with several countries aiming for a manned lunar mission and/or lunar base by 2020 (there will be a 5 year gap between the retirement of the Shuttles and the introduction of the Orion rockets where America will not have their own delivery system to space).
What about trying to turn Woomera (or maybe another site?) into the region's premier launching site where we could encourage and sway other Asian nations possibly like Japan, South Korean and India to launch some of their space based assets from an Australian launching pad which could also help to generate revenue to pay for our own program and possibly please some voters with the prestige and maybe even a tourist site to watch the launches (not sure who could be f'kd going to Woomera but!!). This International involvement could also help to improve our relations with these countries and give us more clout on the global stage.
I dont' believe we should let this opportunity to slip through to the keeper, Space is booming, there is talk of mining the moon for helium 3 (as well as other minerals on the moon and elsewhere).
The world's combined expenditure on space from national govts is currently around $32bn p.a with NASA holding about half that however most countries budgets are in the small bn's or hundred's of mn's such as Belgium's $230mn p.a. It would not take that much out of the budget surplus to provide Australia with a Space program between 500mn and 1bn p.a which would put us around 8th to 10th biggest spenders in Space and provide Australia with not only the benefits across the board in Australia's science community but also with an independent Satellite network for both civilian and military purposes.
Also, we have the world's two biggest miners that in the future could possibly be involved in mining certain parts of Space.
Anyway, I would love to hear back from anyone and everyone on here as to their thoughts and opinion. As you can see, I would love nothing more ('cept for Australia to become a republic ;)) for Australia to begin their space program.