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.
This grant is currently closed to applications

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 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 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.

How we assess applications

We assess your application against the eligibility criteria and then against the assessment criteria. Only eligible applications will proceed to the assessment stage.

The amount of detail and supporting evidence you provide in your application should be relative to the:

  • project size
  • complexity
  • grant amount requested.

The Minister decides which grants to approve taking into account the application assessment, the findings of the committee, the advice from Head or Deputy Head of Agency, and the availability of Trailblazer Stage 1 funds.


Need help?

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

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Key documents

Grant opportunity guidelines – Stage 1

pdf · 1.10 MB docx · 0.40 MB

Sample grant agreement

pdf · 1.08 MB docx · 0.18 MB

Frequently asked questions

pdf · 0.40 MB docx · 0.28 MB

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