ANU astrophysicist and cosmologist Dr Brad Tucker says Australians having the opportunity to go into space by private companies could be “quite interesting” as it removes a NASA requirement.
Dr Tucker said commercial space company Axiom Space – which ferries professional astronauts to the International Space Station – has four missions planned but only two filled.
“There’s no reason you couldn’t get an Australian onto one of these early missions; they already have agreements with NASA and SpaceX to work and get their spots at the International Space Station,” he told Sky News Australia.
“If there’s a way an Australian could be employed, it could be quite early.”
Dr Tucker said there had only ever been two Australians in space, but both had to be American citizens to use the NASA project.
“This would allow someone who wouldn’t necessarily need to get American citizenship because of that NASA requirement to go into space,” he said.
“It’s quite exciting because you could imagine multiple missions and multiple Australians being hired at this, especially as Axiom Space wants to grow their reach and goals and projects in space.”