The head of NASA has called on Australia to join forces with the US and take part in their venture to Mars.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said it was important that Australia took part in the future of space exploration.
He said the Australian Space Agency – based in South Australia – could play an essential role in developing technologies that astronauts would need to survive for years in space while on a mission to Mars.
NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine, said Canberra had to start taking part in the future of space exploration. Pictured: A rocket takes off from a NASA facility in Wallops Island, Virginia
Mr Bridenstine said Australia had greatly aided the US in the past during the Apollo moon landing and both of those countries worked well together and should do so again.
He said Australia helped the US take photos while on the moon and relay the images back to NASA in real time.
‘That this was possible was because of the (Honeysuckle Creek) receiver in Canberra, which took in those beautiful images of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon, especially those very first few steps where Neil said: ”One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”,’ Mr Bridenstine told The Australian.
‘Canberra enabled all of that to be presented to the entire world.’
The Parkes Observatory supported the television footage of Neil Armstrong when he took the first steps on the moon on July 21 1969.
The observatory’s radio telescope provided a live feed of the moon landing for over two hours to over 600million people worldwide.
He said the Australian Space Agency in South Australia could play an essential role in developing technologies that astronauts would need to survive for years in space while on a mission to Mars. Pictured: A 3D space rendering of a desert on Mars
My Bridenstine said the commemoration of the historic moment which signified great teamwork between Australia and the US should be used as a call for further space exploration.
‘We are very excited to on-ramp Australia in that agenda … to go to the moon … (and) the next step is Mars.’
He said the Australian Space Agency would be one of the best facilities to develop essential technology for astronauts such as autonomous drilling and remote extraction of resources.
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