Australia marks World Space Week with major Adelaide conference

Max Blenkin

This week is World Space Week, a global recognition of space which was launched by the United Nations General Assembly two decades ago.

The World Space Week features more than 5,000 events in more than 80 countries, and the theme for 2019 is “The Moon:  Gateway to the Stars”.

That seems entirely appropriate, considering 2019 is the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, and renewed efforts to return to the moon, with the NASA Artemis program aiming for a crewed mission to the moon in 2024.

In Australia, Space Week features a number of activities, but the main event is Australia’s first joint Space Science and Space Industry Conference in Adelaide, incorporating the 8th Space Forum and the 19th Australian Space Research Conference (ASRC).

The conference runs from 30 September to 2 October at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

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This annual conference is sponsored and organised by the National Committee for Space and Radio Science and the National Space Society of Australia, with the support of the Mars Society of Australia.

ASRC follows the 2017 International Astronautical Congress, which attracted more than 4,500 delegates to Adelaide and is regarded as a key driver in Adelaide being chosen to host the new Australian Space Agency.

 

South Australia is also home to the new SmartSat CRC, the Cooperative Research Centre for Smart Satellite Technologies and Analytic, the largest space industry research collaboration in Australian history.

In the conference, SA premier Steven Marshall said this event was yet another vote of confidence in Australia’s booming space sector.

“We have an opportunity to put our nation on the map globally and drive growth across the space sector,” he said.

“Our efforts in creating a thriving ecosystem for entrepreneurship, innovation and future industries, through the development of Lot Fourteen, is giving current and aspiring innovators the opportunities to grow their ideas right here in South Australia.”

Mr Marshall said that in another step to grow the local space industry, five more start-up companies were recently selected to undertake the Venture Catalyst Space incubator program.

“The South Australian government is committed to building on this momentum in the space sector and ensuring the next generation take advantage of the opportunities in the growing space industry,” he said.

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