I don’t talk much about Australian space policy because, well, there’s not much to talk about. However, this AAP article caught my eye: Australian-born NASA astronaut Andy Thomas, fresh from his STS-114 shuttle mission, is calling on Australia to invest more money on space efforts. Thomas called on Australia to work in particular on small remote sensing satellites that could have security applications: “Relatively inexpensive satellites could be made and launched from Australia and used to scan its vast coastline for illegal immigrants and fisherman, as well as terrorists attempting to sneak into the country, he said.” Thomas added that “he feared the federal Government would baulk at investing in a space program because of its initial expense.”
Thomas may want to check out AstroVision Australia Ltd, a Sydney-based company that is planning a commercial remote sensing satellite that could, among other things, monitor coastlines and shipping. Unlike Thomas’ proposal, AstroVision plans to use a relative large satellite in GEO to provide imagery, with the Australian government as a likely major customer.