The Australian government has pledged to collaborate with NASA on the latter's approach to put astronauts back on the moon by 2024 and to further explore deep-space destinations such as Mars. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised to increase the Australian Space Agency's budget to support its commitment to the lunar exploration program called Artemis and the Moon to Mars campaign, NASA said Saturday.
A joint statement of intent signed by the two agencies' top officials establishes a path for collaboration in the robotics, remote asset management and automation areas. NASA aims to demonstrate new technology platforms and business approaches necessary to carry out future exploration that includes the Red Planet as well as expand its number of commercial and international partners through the Artemis program.
Both countries have a long tradition of collaborating on space activities such as the monitoring and communication of NASA missions via the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex and multiple data relay satellite centers across Australia under an agreement signed in 1960.