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Australia, US sign Technology Safeguards Agreement to enable space collaboration

The USA and Australia have signed the Agreement on Technology Safeguards Associated with US Participation in Space Launches from Australia, or the US-Australia Technology Safeguards Agreement (TSA).

For the USA, a TSA is required to permit launches of commercial US launch vehicles from Australia.. It provides the legal and technical framework for US space launches from Australian spaceports while ensuring proper handling of sensitive technology, consistent with the two countries’ long-standing partnership as members of the Missile Technology Control Regime.

The TSA will enter into force upon confirmation by both parties that all domestic requirements have been met. It has the potential to open new commercial opportunities for both Americans and Australians in a range of advanced technologies related to space, including satellites.

“In Australia, American companies will have access to more high-quality launch sites so that they can increase the frequency of their operations,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.  “They’ll be closer to the equator, where the Earth spins the fastest, so their rockets get an extra boost and use less fuel.  And of course, Americans will gain some brilliant Australian colleagues.”

This Agreement protects sensitive US technology and sets the standard for how others should use such sensitive technology in the conduct of satellite and rocket launches from foreign locations, said the US State Department.

“By opening new doors for the private sector, we’ll grow investment between our countries and help create good-paying jobs in both countries,” Blinken added.  “And we’ll also help provide more opportunities for American and Australian firms to continue innovating, and innovating together.  Whether they’re using satellites to make GPS navigation more accurate or developing spacecrafts to study the universe, these companies will help shape the future for our people, and for our planet, for decades to come.”

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