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Big space players to gather in Sydney for 2020 Space Summit

Max Blenkin

Leading players in Australia’s growing space sector will gather in Sydney later this month for the Economist Space Summit 2020 to discuss what comes next.

Big space players to gather in Sydney for 2020 Space Summit
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The event features an impressive line-up of speakers, including Federal Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews; NSW Minister for Jobs and Investment Stuart Ayres; Australian Space Agency head Dr Megan Clark; and CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall.

It will be held at the Sydney Shangri-La Hotel on 19 March.

“The Space Summit 2020 will bring together leading players from the private sector, government, civil society and academia to discuss the next steps for the space economy,” the event website said.

“The practical and commercial opportunities in space are a lot closer to home than we think. A growing number of start-ups and businesses want a piece of sky, highlighting a generational shift in today’s space race.

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“Companies, from transport and mining to aerospace and logistics, need investment. They need tools and a framework suited to a world in which space is accessible to far more players than used to be the case.”

The event will discuss a range of space-related topics, starting the day with the global boom in the space sector, which was once dominated by a small number of superpowers and large companies.

“Around 70 countries now have satellites orbiting Earth. How ready are we to have more players and more satellites in space? Is it worth the cost? How can we ensure that the benefits of space are widely shared? Given how vital space is to defence and our daily lives, how are we to protect our space assets from emerging threats? And what is next for Australia’s participation in the space race?” the website said.

Other topics for discussion include emerging technologies, climate observation from space, space commerce, education, the art of space, the financial sector, ocean observation, governance and the return to the moon.

“The Space Summit will pick up the global conversation from last year’s event in New York and bring it to Australia,” the event website said.

“It will convene leading players from the private sector, government, civil society and academia to discuss the next steps for the space economy. Who are the most relevant and influential players?

“How can businesses finance the commercialisation of low-Earth orbit and what are the benefits to human wellbeing? How far are we from living and working in space? How will geopolitical stand-offs on Earth play out in space? And how can wonder and profit coexist as we continue to explore what space has to offer?”

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