Space Centre Australia CEO James Palmer (left) with Wendy Wollen and Mark Burrows from the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

Space Centre Australia (SCA) CEO James Palmer has met with UK government counterparts in London to discuss future collaboration between SCA and the British space industry.

The meeting took place with representatives from UK Space Agency; UK Space Command; Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; and the Department for International Trade.

Mr Palmer said the meeting focused on how SCA facilities could support the needs of a rapidly growing British space industry.

The SCA spaceport, located 43 kilometres east of Weipa in Far North Queensland, Australia, is anticipated to have small launch capabilities by 2024. By 2028, it is anticipated to become the first site in Australia capable of large geostationary transfer orbit.

“The demand for medium and large launches will continue to grow over the next decade and competition for launch facilities will be tight – especially in Europe,” Mr Palmer said.

“These early talks are about ensuring the UK has future access to meet these demands to launch larger satellites and payloads.

“The meeting was successful and we’re all on the same page about the direction we need to be moving.”

The meeting also focused on expanding future pathways in the UK and Australia’s fledgling space industries – of which SCA intends to be a complementary component.

SCA will have a permanent presence in the UK, with its first overseas office set to open at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire, in December.

Mr Palmer toured the Space Cluster of the campus, where SCA’s office will sit alongside other tenants such as the European Space Agency and Astroscale.

“I’m very excited about opening our office at Harwell and hiring our first British-based staff,” he said.

“Space Centre Australia will very much be a part of the fabric of the British space industry and this office shows our commitment to creating pathways to expand the space skills sector.”