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Australia’s mining, equipment, technology, and services (METS) sector will soon have the opportunity to help develop space exploration alongside NASA.

Leading METS industry association Austmine and Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth (AROSE), a not-for-profit consortium, are working with NASA to identify METS companies with potentially ground-breaking solutions for the space sector.

Shortlisted companies will have the chance to present their solutions at the NASA-USGS Workshop in San Jose, California in May.

“Exploring with NASA underscores the exceptional capabilities, world leading reputation and innovative spirit of the Australian METS sector,” Austmine chief executive officer Christine Gibbs said.

“This workshop provides a unique opportunity for the Australian METS sector to demonstrate not only their expertise in mining technology but also how these innovations can be applied in the challenging environment of space exploration.

“By participating and submitting their innovative ideas to these challenges, Australian companies are not only showcasing their capabilities to NASA but also are further positioning themselves as technology leaders no matter what the environment.”

Australia boasts a small but rapidly growing space industry alongside a highly innovative METS sector.

Over the past year, there has been a notable increase in interest from both the Australian Space Agency and NASA in the mining and METS sector.

As they adapt technology for lunar exploration, Austmine and AROSE are eager to leverage NASA’s expertise to further advancing their capabilities.

“This showcase will not only offer NASA the ability to understand our capabilities, but also provide the METS sector a unique path to innovate for their ongoing work here on Earth,” AROSE resources and space program director Michelle Keegan said.

The NASA opportunities will be hosted on Austmine’s innovation platform, mineinnovate.