Australia is late to the place party. The leader of his new space agency, Megan Clark, said himself. This continent, in the perfect location in the southern hemisphere to the peer of the galaxy, has been one of the last developed countries to have a space agency, and can not indicate why.
So, last year, Ms Clark led a specialist review board to determine the Australian space capabilities, and what they found surprised. The size of the current industry was much more than the previous estimates. And before, Ms Clark had seen such unified stakeholders in a case: the vast majority of the players had long been hiding a space agency to act as a single Australian portal to attract investment, support and guidance.
"And that's doing your job very easy, because then you can go to the government and say the country is united, just take a step here. There's no disadvantage ; there is not one stakeholder who does not want that, "Ms Clark said in an interview. "And it's not a small group. It's not a small voice. This is the nation that wants this."
The Australian Space Agency was officially started a few months later in July – with Ms Clark named as the first chief executive. She now oversees a plan to triple the value of the Australian space industry between $ 7 billion and $ 9 billion a year by 2030.
Ms. Clark and her team have reached the ground running. The agency has signed a memorandum of understanding with space agencies in France, the United Kingdom and Canada, praised in a decision in the House of Representatives of the United States who promised further cooperation and signed a statement of intent with Airbus.
When the creation of the agency was published, the public was a little skeptical of a budget of $ 30 million over four years. This led to cartoons of boomerang shaped rockets and jokes on the web for a fake company, Australian Research and Space Shot, or ASS. (In comparison, NASA's budget this year is around $ 20 billion.)
Ms Clark is not stunning. For her, the agency's budget size is not a critical factor in its success immediately. Although the NASA budget allows it to enforce the American space industry, the QAA aims to attract investment and create international partnerships, leading the industry and merger under one national flag to help grow – the role of the She says it much harder.
"There is a change in the role of government by the sole funder for a partner and facilitator," said Minister for industry, science and technology, Karen Andrews, in a speech during the Australian Space Research Conference in September. "These partnerships are expected to lead to new initiatives, adding to the growing momentum in the industry."
Ms. Clark feels he's well equipped to lead the agency through its growing pains. Her career, she calls "higgledy-piggledy", extends from mining geology to venture capital to bank her to become the first female chief executive of CSIRO, an Australian scientific research agency. All of his jobs, he said, have been associated as it turns discovery to economic value – the main objective of most space agencies.
Like a lot of colleagues, Ms Clark is still astonished for children about the mystery of space, especially in the role of Australia in their declaration. He talked enthusiastically about Marsh Sexual Landing Testing on Mars through the NASA-funded deep space base, near Canberra, Australia, when she was CSIRO's chief executive. She was shocked for a virtual reality program from a Melbourne based developer, Opaque Space, who caught NASA and Boeing Defense.
She reluctantly keeps her to "just do what's in front". She has climbed schools in her career by tackling one task at a time, there is a weight fighting tactics that she has attributed to her experience when she was 12. A doctor said She, if she did not go over the worsening nervousness, was permanently like a pre-adolescent, she would never be able to hold a stressful job as an adult. In one sense, she has devoted her life to prove that doctor incorrectly.
She is not one to leave her inconvenience to discover a discovery, which she was doing to be in trouble in her early twenties: she was caught working in an underground mine in Western Australia, something that was against the rules.
"The game was there if a pool inspector came, you came up to the surface, and provided they did not see you work underground, or as long as you did not Unwillingly working underground, they would arrange a blind eye turn, "said Dr Clark. "And I thought that honesty was not faulty: this is what I'm doing, and I do not want to hide that."
His head was then told to fire or relocate it, but came to his defense and succeeded in obtaining an exemption to her, and the law was changed soon afterwards in 1986. The experience was "faced" but it is not a desire she's her job
Ms Clark grew up in Perth, the most remote capital in the world, and what she called "the last capillary of the global network". He felt that only two career options in West Australia promised a world ticket: mining and oil. He chose to dig.
He has a strong sense of adventure, a piece that he says is praying in Australia, and the feeling felt that "the world was out, not here". He chose where to do his Ph.D. in economic geology – Queen's University in Ontario, Canada – by finding out where you would end if you're holding a pin straight through the world of Perth.
Now, he said, the next generation of Australians should harness the adventurous instinct to travel beyond the planet, not just to the other side of the world. It is clear that the opportunities for Australians to enter the space market are slim – the three Australian astronauts of American citizenship received and went to work for NASA – but now she wants to bring potential lost back.
Its busy timetable makes it forget, sometimes, how influential its presence is as the head of the space agency, and as a woman. But he has received the inflow of letters from both boys and girls, which reminds him of the power place that must inspire young people.
"You see that in space, the curiosity that you had as a child. Some people get it beaten, but there are not some people, and they end in space sector , "he said. "That appetite is very important, and that sense of being a child and can be a little nervous about it."
Australia may not be launching its own rocket to March any time soon. But she is confident she'll see a human one on the red planet during her lifetime, and she hopes that Australia will be among them.