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US and Australia Sign Space Launch Agreement 

By Rachel Jewett | October 25, 2023

President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese photographed together in November 2022 in Cambodia. Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

President Biden and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese signed an agreement on Thursday providing a legal and technical framework for U.S. commercial space launch vehicles to launch from Australia.

According to the White House, the Technology Safeguards Agreement (TSA) protects sensitive U.S. launch technology and data in Australia and create the potential for new space-related commercial opportunities.  A TSA is an agreement between the U.S. and another Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) partner country. 

The TSA is part of Albanese’s state visit to the U.S. this week. Biden and Albanese are outlining new initiatives for the U.S. and Australia to partner, including in the areas of advanced technology and space collaboration. The two countries are welcoming investments into bilateral commercial space launch activities.

Albanese and Biden first announced the TSA during the G7 Summit in Japan in May, and it has been in negotiation since October 2021. Australia expects the TSA to help its domestic launch sector and spaceports to grow and to create jobs in developing infrastructure to support U.S. launch activities.

There are a number of space launch initiatives underway in Australia including Equatorial Launch Australia’s new spaceport in the Northern Territory; Southern Launch, and Gilmour Space

The United States and Australia also agree to continue to partner to promote responsible behavior in space. This includes working together within the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and working India and Japan to foster dialogue with other Indo-Pacific partners on sustainable best practices in outer space.

Both nations signed the Artemis Accords and previously committed not to conduct destructive, direct-ascent anti-satellite missile testing.