DEFENCE cooperation between Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and United States has been further enhanced by the establishment of a formal partnership on combined space operations.
Minister for Defence David Johnston said the partnership announced today marked a significant milestone in the context of space cooperation and underlined the close defence cooperation Australia enjoys with our partners in the UK, Canada and US.
"Assured access to space is increasingly important, not only for national security purposes, but also for many technologies that underpin modern economies and daily life, including stock exchange and credit card transactions, weather and climate monitoring, natural disaster warning, communications and navigation," said Senator Johnston.
"At the same time, the increasing congestion in space from over 50 years of space activities and a significant rise in space debris present a rising threat to our assured access to space."
He said the combined space operations partnership among our armed forces enabled sharing of space-related information and resources to synchronise space operations among the partners and to provide enhanced awareness of the space environment.
In particular, the partnership will allow for more effective and coordinated use of space capabilities through cooperation on activities such as identifying and understanding what objects are in space, ensuring uninterrupted satellite operations, and avoiding satellite collisions. Such activities will make a significant contribution towards a safer and more secure space environment while also enhancing mutual security.
Space is also crucial to our respective national securities with space-based capabilities providing our armed forces with the ability to operate and communicate around the globe and unparalleled understanding of the space environment.
The partnership demonstrates the continued dedication and strong commitment of the partners to encouraging the responsible and peaceful use of space for all.