Page 18 - Australian Defence Magazine August 2018
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Space is closer
er and simpler licensing arrangements for launches and returns – by streamlining the approvals process and the insurance require- ments for these activities. It will also provide better regulation for rocket launches to re- flect modern practices around the globe.
“These updates include new arrange- ments to facilitate the safe launch of high- powered rockets, and the safe launch of rockets from aircraft in flight. The effect of these changes will be to bring Australia in line with global practice. They will reduces barriers to participation, and encourage more private space investment in our space industry,” Senator Cash concluded.
LTGEN Thompson emphasised the im- portance of Australia's culture and values to the US alliance and highlighted the many existent areas of bilateral cooperation in space, particularly through Pine Gap and the Harold E Holt station in WA. All three panellists also pointed to the importance of practising operations in a space-denied or space-degraded environment as other na- tions develop counter-space capabilities.
The three panellists were then asked whether space should form another opera- tional domain. As VADM Griggs observed, different operational domains are certainly drawn along somewhat arbitrary lines. Af- ter all, the US Navy is the world's second- largest air force. The increasing overlap of domain operations was evident in the crisis simulation later in the afternoon (the sce- nario was an AWD hitting rocks as a result of Chinese GPS jamming).
Yet there is also an equally arbitrary line drawn between war and peace. Discussion at the conference revolved around preparing for a 'future conflict' in which space is likely to feature heavily. The inherent assumption here is that conflict is black and white; ei- ther we are at war, or we are at peace.
The pattern of conflict over the past de- cade, however, shows that revisionist states tend not to engage in open, declared war. Instead, they blur the line between war and peace to achieve hostile objectives without crossing a reaction threshold that brings conventional capabilities (like kinetic coun- ter-space measures) into play.
This does not rule out the possibility of a fu- ture open war, but it does mean that Australia is at risk of constantly preparing for a conflict that is, in many ways, already happening. One question the conference did not consider is how this low-level conflict might express itself in space, and how Defence might pre- pare as the country formulates a national space strategy and industry capabilities.
ASPI has hosted entrepreneurs, scientists, academics, and military leaders, at the Building Australia's Strategy for Space conference before the launch of the national space agency.
SPEAKERS included Minister for Defence Marise Payne, Minister for Jobs and Educa- tion Senator Michaelia Cash, then Vice Chief of the Defence Force VADM Ray Griggs, Deputy Chief of Air Force AVM Gavin Turnbull, Shadow Minister for Defence Richard Marles, Vice Commander US Space Command LT GEN David Thompson, for- mer astronauts Dr Paul Scully-Power and COL (ret'd) Pam Melroy, and many more.
To set the scene, Senator Cash was en- thusatistic abut the future of the Australian space community.
“The global space economy is worth over US$345 billion and growing. Australia’s share of this is just 0.8 per cent,” Senator Cash said. “With the access to the global space economy that our Space Agency will facilitate – it is estimated that we can triple the size of our current domestic industry to approximately $12 billion by 2030, and create up to 20,000 new jobs for Australians. The Australian Space Agency will therefore play a key role in Australia’s economic future.”
The conference was structured around a series of themed sessions: the strategic im-
plications of the space domain; opportuni- ties for space cooperation; how Australian industry might develop; state perspectives on space; a crisis simulation; space science; best practice; Defence and space; and lever- aging 'New Space' in the next golden era of space endeavours.
All three panellists also pointed to the importance of practising operations in a space-denied or space-degraded environ- ment. A particular highlight was LTGEN David Thompson, VADM Ray Griggs, and Dr David Williams' panel discussion on op- portunities for space cooperation.
The legal framework when it comes to space is also evolving with government look- ing to update legislation in this domain.
“The government has been working on ensuring that there are no legislative impedi- ments preventing our industry from engaging in the international market,” Senator Cash said. “We are reforming Australia’s space laws to make it easier for our domestic industry to participate. The Space Activities Act, was first introduced over two decades ago.
“The regulatory changes will include fast-
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