Australian astronaut Dr Andy Thomas says South Australia is the most appropriate state to host the new Australian space agency.
Renowned astronaut Dr Andy Thomas has endorsed South Australia's space credentials, declaring it the most appropriate state to host the national space agency.
Dr Thomas, who worked for NASA, said the state is well-positioned to support a burgeoning Australian space industry.
"South Australia's got the heritage, the technical resources, the educational background, the technical infrastructure, the corporate infrastructure the industrial base," he told reporters on Thursday.
"I think we've got a very good chance."
Dr Thomas made the comments alongside Premier Steven Marshall at the University of Adelaide, where he gained his PhD in mechanical engineering in 1978.
Mr Marshall said the state would be putting in a "compelling and competitive" bid to host the agency.
"This state has enormous capability already in terms of space sector, but also enormous potential going forward," he said.
"We are the logical place to bring the national space agency."
The location of Australia's new space agency will be decided during a six-month bidding war between states and territories, with a decision expected by the end of the year.
Dr Megan Clark will lead the agency for the first year and she will talk with each state and territory to "properly identify what they can bring to the table".
Dr Thomas said he would be willing to lobby Dr Clark directly "if that would be a fruitful undertaking".