The 18th of April saw the second phase of the Advanced Instrumentation Technology Centre (AITC) construction at Mount Stromlo launched by Space Minister Kim Carr.
The new centre is expected to help develop technologies for the international Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) that will be built in Chile. The AITC will also house facilities to develop and test small satellites for both Earth Observation and telecommunications, and is expected to act as a new hub within Australia's rapidly growing space industry. The facilities will include clean rooms, vacuum chambers and a vibration table to allow for small satellite Integration and testing.
Minister Carr has highlighted that the AITC will directly create "up to two hundred and forty Australian jobs – and will continue to open new opportunities for Australian firms for another forty years."
The Antarctica Broadband project that was funded under the Australian Space Research Program is also likely to use the AITC.
Mount Stromlo was devastated in the 2003 Canberra bushfires, and subsequently, the facility was substantially rebuilt in 2006. The Phase 2 construction is expected to be completed in July of 2011.