Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Deputy Premier; Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade; Hydrogen Industry; Tourism; Science

    Space is WA’s new frontier as world-class complex opens in Perth

    3/11/2022 9:20 AM
    • State-of-the-art Space Automation, AI and Robotics Control Complex officially opens in Perth CBD
    • Multi-user remote operations facility operated by Fugro Australia Marine
    • Facility trains, tests and controls remote and autonomous operations in space and other harsh environments 

    Western Australia's space sector is ready for launch, following the official opening of the world-class Space Automation, AI and Robotics Control Complex (SpAARC).


    Established by Fugro, in partnership with the Australian Space Agency, and supported by the McGowan Government, the opening of SpAARC sets up Western Australia to play a lead role in terrestrial and space missions and remote operations.


    The WA Government co-invested $3.5 million to establish SpAARC in Perth, with $4.5 million from the Australian Government through the Australian Space Agency.


    As well as remote operations activities, the multi-user facility also provides infrastructure to support software simulation of space vehicles, space robotic systems, and planetary exploration systems, including orbital mechanics and simulated communication links with time delays.


    The opening of the facility follows a recently announced partnership between Fugro-SpAARC and American aerospace company Intuitive Machines. Intuitive Machines has been awarded several NASA contracts to delivery payloads to the Moon, and SpAARC is integrating into Intuitive Machines' lunar operations to support their missions from January 2023.  


    SpAARC is also supporting a number of WA space projects and Australian Government space grant applications. It is one of three prime organisations in the State's AROSE-led submission to the Australian Space Agency to design, build and operate an Australian rover on the Moon in partnership with NASA.


    The WA Government has invested more than $16 million over the past two years to grow the capability and capacity of the State's space sector.


    Comments attributed to Science Minister Roger Cook:


    "This is a historic moment for Western Australia's space industry, as we celebrate the commencement of Fugro's terrestrial and space remote operations activities at the state-of-the-art SpAARC.


    "We are a world-leader in terrestrial remote operations across the resources sector, and now is the time to utilise that experience and expertise to support the burgeoning space industry.


    "Space technology touches many aspects of everyday life, with many of the conveniences we take for granted borne out of significant investment in space, such as GPS, cordless power tools and infrared thermometers.


    "We are seizing the opportunity to transform WA into a global space and technology hub that attracts the best and brightest talent, and accelerates the diversification of our economy."


    Minister's office - 6552 6500