What do an Australian prime minister, a stuffed toy koala with some nifty earrings and a gold Logie have in common?
They're all reaching for the stars.
Scott Morrison inked a deal for the Australian Space Agency and NASA to co-operate on the Artemis mission to send man back to the moon and on to Mars in Washington DC on Saturday morning (overnight Sunday AEST).
Astronaut Pam Melroy showed him a toy koala that was gifted by the Australians in 2017 when the space agency Down Under was announced. The little koala has since travelled up to the International Space Station and back.
He also got to brandish the Logie award won by the first men on the moon - Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins - for entertaining Australians 50 years ago.
"It seems that getting a Logie back then was a lot harder then it is today," Mr Morrison joked.
The prime minister announced Australia is backing the co-operative deal with $150 million to help businesses and researchers develop new technology and capability.
"We can't wait to be part of the next stellar chapter, so beam us up," he told the small crowd at the NASA headquarters in Washington.
Australia's first astronaut, Andy Thomas, said he frequently spoke with the country's scientists and engineers who had been frustrated by not being able to participate in space programs but were now excited to be part of things.
"Australia has a staggering expertise, it's dripping off the trees," he told reporters.
"And the young kids are excited by it."
The government envisages Australians using their experience to develop things such as earth to moon communications systems, robots for use in space based on mine automation, remote medicine drawing on our delivery of health services to places like Antarctica and the Pilbara, and small satellites that deliver very high-resolution images.
It says these technologies won't just help future astronauts but people living in remote and regional Australia too.
"Twenty thousand jobs and a $12 billion dollar industry by 2030. That's why we're in it," Mr Morrison told reporters.
"I think it is seen very much as Australia understanding about where this is heading and positioning ourselves well to be part of what is going to be a very important and valuable supply chain into the future."
Mr Morrison also laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at Arlington national cemetery, where he met many of the Australian defence personnel stationed in Washington.
And he had a chance to chat with American veterans who are setting up new businesses with the help of start-up incubator Bunker Labs.
One of those businesses, Building Momentum, which trains Marines and other defence members to use technology such as 3D printers and laser cutters to solve problems, presented the mad Cronulla Sharks fan with personalised trinket boxes, one for each Morrison family member, engraved with their name and the football team's logo.
Defence and the Department of Veterans Affairs are keen to examine models like Bunker Labs as they ramp up support for Australia's retiring service personnel.
And after a day of ceremony at the White House designed to underscore the strong US-Australia relationship, it was highlighted once again at the Australian ambassador's residence where Mr Morrison planted an offspring of the famous 200-year-old Jackson magnolia that grows in the presidential gardens.
He confessed he'd become "a bit weepy" after hearing US President Donald Trump quote a poem by Mary Gilmore, Mr Morrison's great-great-aunt, at the state dinner the night before.
"That's the sort of detail that shows an affection, it just shows a closeness," he said.
Australian Associated Press