During the upcoming visit of both US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US Defence Secretary Robert Gates scheduled for next week, a brand new multi-million dollar Space Surveillance facility will be built in Western Australia by the US according to the Fairfax newspapers.
The project, which was planned to be announced during US President Barack Obama's cancelled trip to Australia in June, will likely be built at the Harold E Holt Naval communications station in Exmouth, Western Australia.
As highlighted in the most recent Defence White Paper, Australian military operations are now heavily reliant on space capabilities, and Space Situational Awareness and Mission Assurance was listed as one of the emerging capability priorities.
The facility is a natural extension of the US Space Surveillance capabilities, but will likely provide Australia with key information on the protection of our vital space infrastructure, the space capabilities of other nations, as well as the ever increasing space debris problem.
This continues the rise of importance in Australia of the Space industry, and it is likely that Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Defence Minister Stephen Smith will be on hand for the announcement.