TOOWOOMBA can play a significant role in humanity's mission to Mars.
Over the weekend, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who was in Washington DC at a meeting with US President Donald Trump, announced that the federal government will donate $ 150 million to the Australian space agency to collaborate with NASA on the upcoming Artemis mission to Mars.
Professor Peter Schubel of the University of Southern Queensland Institute of Advanced Engineering and Space Science said that at the moment a new space race was taking place and Toowoomba was well prepared to be part of it.
"The Mount Kent Observatory in USQ is the only dedicated observatory in the southern hemisphere for NASA's TESS mission and space debris monitoring," he said.
"When it comes to monitoring cosmic waste, we must have knowledge about what needs to be broken in terms of the atmosphere and avoiding garbage at every take-off."
Professor Schubel said the university also invested in static rocket testing and production, and a plant is planned for Helidon.
"We are still waiting for planning permission, but the site has been identified and we are currently conducting this process with the State Development Department and local council to ensure that we have all the certificates," he said.
"The rocket static test facility is not a launch site, but it allows us to test the rockets to prove them before they reach the start. There will also be a place for rocket production. "
Exoplanet tracking for NASA:
The construction was completed on a number of Minerva Australis telescopes at Mt Kent Observatory in USQ.
Schubel said the test and production plant consists of three stages. The first will examine rockets with a thrust of up to 200 kilograms, which is enough to get a satellite and cargo into geostationary orbit. In the next two stages, we'll look at much larger, more complex rockets and needed fuels. He said space exploration and research are important because her technology has filtered into everyday life, such as GPS.
"If we didn't have space research and exploration, people wouldn't have things like GPS in cars," he said.
"The technologies that will take us to Mars will be introduced to the public as new technologies that we are not even able to see today.
"In 10 to 20 years, the community will gain additional benefit from space activities."