The AUKUS alliance of Australia, the UK and US would boost collaboration between Washington and Canberra in space, Australian Space Agency Head Enrico Palermo said.
Palermo was speaking on a panel with NASA Administrator Bill Nelson which also discussed Australia’s role in the next crewed mission to the moon, known as Artemis.
Palermo said that Australia signing the Artemis Accords — a guide to space exploration principles signed by Australia, the US and other countries — was a sign of its commitment to “the rules and norms that seek to ensure the safety, stability and sustainability of outer space.”
“I should also note that the AUKUS discussion is a further indication of the growing depth of collaboration between our two nations and the UK,” he added. “And we hope this momentum continues with even greater trade and collaboration across the space sector in the near future.”
The role of space in AUKUS was glossed over initially, as the announcement about ending Australia’s submarine deal with France in favor of nuclear-powered submarines took precedence, but space is a critical part of any military action because satellites are needed for communication, navigation and weapon guidance.
There are fears that nations such as China or Russia could target those satellites in any escalation of hostilities, leaving countries including Australia “deaf, dumb and blind.”
Australian Strategic Policy Institute defense analyst Malcom Davis said China poses a threat to Australian, UK and US satellites.
Davis said that China and Russia have also demonstrated “soft kill” attacks that disable or deny access to satellites.
The space domain is critical for a war that is “precise, decisive and rapid, reduces the cost in lives lost, and minimizes the prospect of failure,” Davis wrote.
“Reducing the prospect for a successful counterspace campaign and denying China and Russia the ability to deliver a decisive ‘Pearl Harbor’ in space is probably the most important goal for AUKUS,” he wrote. “Such an attack would quickly take away any knowledge edge and dramatically boost the risk of rapid defeat, leaving the three states effectively ‘deaf, dumb and blind’ in a crisis.”
Nelson spoke about Australia’s longstanding alliance in wars, and in space — dating back to when the Parkes Observatory was part of the Apollo missions.
He referred to Australia’s role in the 1969 moon landing, and promised that NASA was preparing to announce more details about Australia’s role in the Artemis mission.
“We’ve been partnering with the Australian space agency to identify potential collaboration on the moon, because we’re going back to the moon. We were there before, but this time, it’s to stay and to learn and prepare to go to Mars,” Nelson said.
“We’ve identified an opportunity that will enable Australia’s expertise to align with NASA’s exploration capabilities, and it’s gonna be a great partnership,” he added.
Asked to elaborate, Palermo said: “Stay tuned.”
Japan’s Mount Aso erupted yesterday, spewing a giant column of ash thousands of meters into the sky as hikers rushed away from the popular tourist spot. No injuries were immediately reported after the late-morning eruption in southwest Japan, which sent rocks flying in a dramatic blast captured by nearby CCTV cameras. People were warned not to approach the volcano as it ejected hot gas and ash as high as 3,500m, and sent stones tumbling down its grassy slopes. Authorities were checking if any hikers had been trapped or injured, officials told local media, as TV footage showed dozens of vehicles and tour buses
PROMPTING MOCKERY : A cryptic announcement of the pianist’s detention by Beijing police was followed by CCTV commenting on the ‘social morality’ of celebrities Concert pianist Li Yundi (李雲迪), one of China’s most famous musicians, has been detained in Beijing over prostitution allegations, state media said on Thursday, prompting some incredulity and a lot of mockery on Chinese social media. Reuters was unable to immediately reach Li or a representative for comment. Police in the Chinese capital’s Chaoyang District said they had detained a 39-year-old man surnamed Li, along with a 29-year-old female surnamed Chen, after receiving reports from the public of prostitution in a neighborhood they did not identify. Both people confessed to the illegal activity, the police said in a statement on a microblogging platform. The
Sri Lanka has barred a Chinese ship carrying desperately needed organic fertilizer that experts have found to be tainted with harmful bacteria, officials said yesterday. The ban comes as Sri Lanka battles food shortages caused by a currency crisis. Farmers have said that a ban on chemical fertilizer could ruin their crops this year. The office of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that the Sri Lankan National Plant Quarantine Services had tested a sample from the unnamed Chinese vessel and “confirmed the presence of organisms, including certain types of harmful bacteria.” The Sri Lankan Commercial High Court has banned any payment to
DEMAND-DRIVEN: The report, produced by Greenpeace and TheTreeMap, said law enforcement has allowed palm oil plantations on UNESCO sites, parks and tiger habitats Almost one-fifth of the land used for Indonesian palm oil plantations is located in the country’s forest conservation areas, despite a law banning such activity, a study by Greenpeace has found. The report, produced by Greenpeace and TheTreeMap, describes a catastrophic failure of law enforcement that has permitted swathes of land — including UNESCO sites, national parks and areas mapped as habitats for orangutans and Sumatran tigers — to be cultivated as palm oil plantations. Indonesia is the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, which is used in many everyday products and foods, from shampoo and lipstick to chocolate and frozen pizzas. However,