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Commander of US Space Force Indo-Pac to address summit

Malavika Santhebennur

The commander overseeing the US Space Force’s Indo-Pacific team will deliver an address at the Australian Space Summit and Exhibition in May.

Brigadier General Anthony J Mastalir will detail the role space now plays in helping conventional domains of the military, alongside discussing the importance of interoperability between allies.

He’ll be speaking after an address by the new head of Australia’s own Space Command, Major General Gregory Novak.

Space Connect will host the Australian Space Summit and Exhibition at the ICC in Sydney for two days, on Tuesday, 28 May and Wednesday, 29 May 2024.


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The USSPACEFOR-INDOPAC is the US Space Force component field command to the US Indo-Pacific Command. It plans, integrates, synchronises, and executes command and control of space operations in support of combatant command priorities and objectives.

At the summit, Brig Gen Mastalir will detail the role space plays and will play in supporting and enhancing what is considered the more conventional domains of armed conflict while simultaneously providing survivability to the US and its allies like Australia in the event of conflict with China.

He will also explain the roles that integration, collaboration, and interoperability play in building and maintaining space domain dominance as competition between global superpowers grows.


MAJGEN Novak, meanwhile, will deliver one of his first public speeches since being appointed to head up Space Command in December.

He will unpack the future of Australia’s defence space priorities and outline the challenges facing the ADF as it seeks to build a resilient and robust space capability that can compete with its global counterparts.

The commander will then discuss how Australia’s burgeoning space industry can secure our national interests and how closer collaboration with Defence could create new opportunities for the sector.

Packed agenda

Also appearing is Virgin Galactic, which will divulge the inside story of its first commercial mission last year, for which the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy collaborated on a pioneering suborbital experiment.

Walter Villadei, the astronaut onboard who served as the mission commander, will be among the line-up of speakers.

Furthermore, the packed agenda includes a session from Lynn McDonald – a former Colonel in the US Air Force who now serves as Blue Origin’s vice-president of test and flight operations – on the company’s early missions and how space tourism aligns with humanity’s exploration and advancement in space.

The summit includes multiple keynote addresses on the state of the space industry and new opportunities for the sector to become a driving force in the Australian economy.

Divided into four key pillars of the space industry, it will cover topics such strengthening aerospace ties between Australia, the US, and the UK under the AUKUS alliance, how Australia is shaping the ASEAN space landscape, and the industry’s plans to find another 15,000 workers by 2030.

It will delve into the challenges and opportunities in hypersonic technology, defence strategy for the space domain, and space-specific cyber security approaches and frameworks to protect space assets in the digital age.

Throughout the summit, attendees can network and exchange ideas with industry leaders, innovative companies, and peers and colleagues.

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For more information, including agenda and speakers, click here.

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