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The new colonial movement: An Australian government agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), has put forth a space roadmap for that nation that includes a push for them to participate in NASA’s lunar orbiting Gateway project.
“And when you look at a moon base, the support systems of oxygen, water, food – and the general support systems around it – is something that nobody has ever done before,” he said. “When we looked around Australia, these are areas where Australia has as much skill as anyone else. Things like dry farming capabilities, remote mining capability, the fact that CSIRO perfected the titanium dust that you can 3-D print from … there are a whole range of things where we can potentially contribute.” It is an interesting fact that Australia has exceptional expertise in 3D printing titanium. This is even more interesting when you consider that on the moon – according to Dave Williams – there is an oxide that is very similar to titanium that could be reduced to a titanium dust, with oxygen as a by-product.
“Realistically, NASA will lead the whole thing. But they will be looking for partners, and the idea will be to identify which niche areas Australia should try to push its industry into, and try to get support for and to make it work,” he said.
Essentially, they are proposing that Australia get in on the Gateway boondoggle by focusing on and then offering to provide peripheral support services.
Much of this is bureaucratic twaddle, not to be taken too seriously. At the same time, it does outline for Australia areas where there are needs, and where their private space companies could make money.