Astronaut’s push for Sydney space agency

n astronaut Paul Scully-Power is helping NSW bid for the country’s inaugural space agency.’s first astronaut Paul Scully-Power says he will bring everyone “back down to earth” after being announced as the face of a push to have NSW secure a national space agency.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Wednesday Dr Scully-Power will advise the state government on how to host the n Space Agency.

The NSW government will attempt to link its bid for the headquarters with Sydney’s new “Aerotropolis”, which is being built around the new Badgerys Creek airport, the premier confirmed.

“If we can potentially house our space industry in that precinct it would just be an overwhelming boost for our state,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters at Sydney Observatory in Millers Point.

But Dr Scully-Power has ruled out any potential space agency having a launch pad to rocket humans into outer space from NSW.

“I don’t think we are in the business of sending humans into space as I hate to tell you what NASA spent on me,” Dr Scully-Power told reporters.

The 73-year-old flew on the space Shuttle Challenger in 1984, after being selected by NASA to be a payload specialist on the 13th space shuttle, for eight days and 133 orbits.

Dr Scully-Power also spoke about a space agency developing technology, such as having thousands of nano-satellites orbiting the earth in near space “fairly low down” to lead commercial development across the nation.

“I guess it is my turn to bring you all back down to earth,” he said.

Earlier this month, the federal government pledged initial funding of $15 million to get the agency off the ground on July 1, predicting the industry will be worth $12 billion by 2030.

The state’s bid for the headquarters of the nation’s first space agency will be discussed at an Aerotropolis investor forum, hosted by Ms Berejiklian and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney on Monday.

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