Moon to Mars Initiative: Trailblazer Stage 1

This grant opportunity provides funding to leverage and diversify Australia's world leading remote operations skills and experience by developing new foundation services capabilities, encouraging investment and opportunities in the Australian space sector.


Closes in 37 days

Closing date: 28 Feb 2022 05:00 PM AEDT

What do you get?

Trailblazer Stage 1 is an open competitive grant opportunity providing up to $4 million for up to two successful applicants to develop foundation services rover solutions through early mission phases to Preliminary Design Review (PDR). Your contribution must be cash (not in-kind).

Who is this for?

Australian businesses and publicly funded research organisations with current and existing space projects that will showcase Australia’s strengths to the world.


The $150 million Australian Moon to Mars Initiative (the initiative) supports Australian businesses and researchers to join NASA’s inspirational endeavour to go forward to the Moon and then go on to Mars. Investment focuses in Australia over a five-year period, commencing in 2020-21.

The initiative forms an important element of the Advancing Space: Australian Civil Space Strategy - external site - external site 2019-2028. It primarily addresses the National and International pillars:

  • to open doors for Australian businesses and researchers to access international space supply chains
  • create jobs in Australia
  • support the growth of industries across the economy through the development and application of space technologies.

Through this, Australian organisations will join with NASA and other international partners to bring Australian capabilities to space, the Moon, Mars and beyond.

The objectives of the initiative are to:

  • support Australia’s ambitions to join NASA’s endeavour to go forward to the Moon and then go on to Mars
  • accelerate the growth of the Australian space industry
  • build Australian space capability and capacity
  • lift Australian involvement in national and international supply chains
  • inspire the Australian public.

The intended outcomes of the initiative are:

  • Australian involvement in international space programs and missions that support Moon to Mars activities
  • increased growth of Australian space businesses
  • an increase in Australia’s space capability
  • increased exports
  • increased access to national and international supply chains
  • strengthened relationships between international agencies and the Australian Space Agency
  • increased employment in STEM related and highly skilled fields
  • increased community engagement in space activities.

The initiative has three elements:

  • Supply Chain program: supporting Australian industry to deliver products and services into domestic and international space supply chains through two components:
    • Supply Chain Capability Improvement Grants
    • Supply Chain Facilitation.
  • Demonstrator program: supporting demonstrator and pilot projects that showcase Australia’s strengths to the world through two components:
    • Demonstrator Feasibility Grants
    • Demonstrator Mission Grants.
  • Trailblazer program: a major project supporting NASA’s activities to return to the Moon and on to Mars.

The objectives of the Trailblazer program are:

  • develop foundation services rover solutions, capable of collecting lunar regolith and delivering it to a NASA science in-situ resource utilisation (ISRU) facility
  • demonstrate the ability for Australian capability to support international missions
  • inspire the Australian public
  • an Australian asset will have been operated on the Moon
  • improved collaboration with international space agencies including NASA
  • stimulated investment in the foundation services capability
  • key technologies are spun out to develop other sectors of the Australian economy
  • growth in Australian space capability
  • increased interest in STEM and related highly skilled careers
  • galvanisation of national pride in Australia’s space activities
  • increased community engagement in space activities.

Check if you can apply

You can apply if you meet the eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria are a set of rules that describe who we can consider for this grant. You can apply if you:

  • are an eligible entity
  • have an eligible project
  • have eligible expenditure.

The rules are in the grant opportunity guidelines.

How to apply

Check if you’re ready to apply for a grant

Finding a suitable grant opportunity is just the start of the process to get funding. The application process can take time and effort. Understanding the entire process will help you be grant ready and may improve your chances of getting funding.

Use our checklist to find out what it takes to apply for a grant.

When you're ready to apply

When the online form is available, you must submit your application through the online portal. You’ll need to set up an account when you first log into the portal. The portal allows you to apply for and manage a grant or service in a secure online environment.

Information session

Moon to Mars: Trailblazer program - Information session


The Australian Space Agency hosted an information session to discuss and answer questions on the Trailblazer program, within the Moon to Mars Initiative. The information session was held on 15 December 2021.

Apply now

Apply for Moon to Mars Initiative: Trailblazer Stage 1

Before you apply, make sure you:

  • read and understand the grant opportunity guidelines
  • address all eligibility and assessment criteria

Before submitting an application for Stage 1 we highly recommend that you review Stage 1 and Stage 2 Grant Opportunity Guidelines. Stage 2 guidelines are located under Key documents.


Need help?

  • Let us answer your question via phone, email or webchat. And if we can't help, we'll put you in touch with someone who can.

  • Monday – Friday, 8am – 8pm across Australia

Key documents

Grant opportunity guidelines – Stage 1

Grant opportunity guidelines – Stage 2

Sample application form

Sample grant agreement

Frequently asked questions

Project partner letter of support template

Board or CEO letter template

Project proposal template

Project proposal – Guidance