20 Feb 2016

Alexandra site of NZ Space Centre bid

3:38 pm on 20 February 2016

A group of scientists has launched an ambitious plan to create a New Zealand space centre, with its headquarters in the central Otago town of Alexandra.

The group has asked for $15 million to establish the Centre for Space Science Technology as a regional research institute.

If the funding bid succeeds, the centre will open in the middle of next year, with the initial aim of gathering New Zealand-specific data that is widely available from other countries' satellites.

The project's leader, Greg Bodeker, said the most important aspect was making sure the information was useful for industry, particularly agriculture.

He said the centre would begin gathering more specific data when it launched the country's first satellites in 2019.

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