1 October 2017
INTERNATIONAL ASTRONAUTICAL CONGRESS A BIG SUCCESS
The 2017 International Astronautical Congress which closed on Friday in Adelaide has been universally judged as one of the most successful ever. With 4,500 registrations it was also one of the biggest ever attended.
In acknowledging the contributions of a very large number of people who contributed to the success of the Congess the Chair of the SIAA, Michael Davis said:
"I wish to highlight immediately the roles of the following key people who worked tirelessly and with great dedication and skill to make the Congress what is was:
- Brett Biddington, our Congress CEO
- Naomi Mathers, our Deputy Chair and Co-Chair of the Congress Papers Committee
- David Ball, our Treasurer
- Robert Debelle, our Exhibition Sponsorship and Media Manager and
- Anne-Marie Quinn and her team from our professional conference organiser firm, All Occasions Group."
Mr Davis also made special mention of Anchor Sponsor, Lockheed Martin Corporation, adding that "without its support we could not have undertaken such a large and risky project."
"There were many, many highlights for the Australian space sector, starting with the Commonwealth Government announcement that a national space agency is to be established. For me the greatest satisfaction came from the real progress we have made as an indigenous industry in such a short time, in new projects with new investment, contributing to the economic and technological growth of this country, as evidenced by the following announcements:
"The SIAA played a key role in the above by winning the bid for the Congress and then (with others in the Australian space community) formulating and sticking to a strategy that was intended to produce the enduring benefits for our sector. This was achieved through a shared vision and a lot of work by a large number of talented colleagues.
"We now face a new challenge in ensuring that we have a national program that is capable of achieving the economic targets and scientific and social goals set out in our SIAA White Paper." Mr Davis added.
25 September 2017
AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT TO ESTABLISH A SPACE AGENCY
The Australian Government announced its intention to establish a national space agency at the Opening Ceremony of the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide today. To read the announcement click here
2 September 2017
DR SPACE JUNK FEATURED IN THE NEW YORKER
SIAA Advisory Council member and leading international space archeologist Dr Alice Gorman is featured in an article in this month's New Yorker magazine entitled 'Dr. Space Junk Unearths the Cultural Landscape of the Cosmos'. To read the article click here
2 September 2017
NEW ECONOMIC STUDY ON THE BENEFITS OF A NATIONAL SPACE AGENCY
A three month study by a Master of Economics student from Italy on the 'Societal and Economic Benefits of a Dedicated National Space Agency for Australia' has just been published by Defence SA. For a media report on the study click here.
To read the report click here.
17 August 2017
'AUSTRALIA IN SPACE' NOW ON SALE
To coincide with the hosting the 2017 International Astronautical Congress www.iac2017.org, the Space Industry Association of Australia in partnership with ATF Press is launching ‘Australia in Space’, the complete history of our involvement with space activities.
Written by Kerrie Dougherty, Australia's leading space historian and former Curator of Space Technology at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. Foreword by Dr Andrew Thomas.
The exploration of space was seen as the greatest adventure of the 20th century, while in the 21st century space-based services have become an integral part of our daily lives. Although not often recognised, Australia has played its part in setting the world on a path to the stars and was one of the earliest nations to launch its own satellite.
‘Australia in Space’ tells the story of the nation's involvement with space activities, from the earliest rocketeers to the latest satellite projects. It describes the vision, high hopes and achievements of professional space scientists and engineers, in both the civil and defence spheres, as well as the inspired amateurs and the new breed of young space entrepreneurs who are currently contributing to Australia’s space future. It also highlights the challenges of maintaining an Australian commitment to space activities through changing political and economic circumstances.
Dedicated to the many participants in the Australian space adventure, this book is an invaluable reference, extensively researched and beautifully illustrated.
"As you read this history of the Australian role in opening the space frontier, it is my hope you will appreciate how these events came about, and understand the efforts of the dedicated individuals who were behind them". Dr Andrew Thomas, Australian Astronaut
To order a copy click here
1 August 2017
SPACE INDUSTRY CAPABILITY REVIEW ANNOUNCED
Following calls from the SIAA and other groups, an Expert Reference Group (ERG) for the Review of Australia’s Space Industry Capability has been established by the Minister of Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos – click here
The Government has asked the ERG, chaired by Dr Megan Clark AC, to complete its review by March 2018. The SIAA Chair, Michael Davis, has accepted the Minister’s invitation to be a member of the ERG.
Recently the Department of Industry Innovation and Science issued a discussion paper inviting industry and all areas of government and society to contribute to its review. The discussion paper can be found here.
SIAA Members are encouraged to make submissions to the review. Written submissions can be made until 22 August 2017. Written submissions should address the consultation questions contained in the issues paper but can also provide additional input. Written submissions can be uploaded via a link here.
The SIAA White Paper policy document ‘Advancing Australia in Space’ has been submitted to the review and is available here together with links to media reports on the White Paper.
Roundtable meetings will be held in capital cities across Australia, depending on demand, from late August to early September 2017. The dates for the meetings in different cities are:
- Hobart: 24 August
- Darwin: 31 August
- Brisbane: 1 September
- Perth: 5 September
- Adelaide: 6 September
- Melbourne: 7 September
- Canberra: 11 September
- Sydney: 13 September
Members can register to attend the Roundtable meetings here.
10 July 2017
AUSTRALIANS TO PROPOSE CHANGES TO OUTER SPACE TREATY
At the Space Generation Council, a preliminary event to this year’s International Astronautical Congress, a group of young Australians will lead a working group of delegates from across the globe, to develop and propose a set of supplementary protocols to the Outer Space Treaty, in order to adapt global space governance to the needs of the next 50 years. To read the article in the Conversation by Prof Stephen Freeland and Mr Duncan Blake, click here
10 July 2017
CONTRACT TO UPGRADE A DEFENCE SATELLITE GROUND STATION ANNOUNCED
The Australian Department of Defence and Northrop Grumman have announced the signing of a $223 million contract to improve the Australian Defence Force’s communication through a defence satellite ground station. To read more, click here
18 June 2017
$500 MILLION FOR ENHANCED SATELLITE CAPABILITY
The Australian Government has announced a $500 million investment to improve Defence’s access to commercial satellites to provide information to government agencies aimed at improving Australia’s space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, to support ADF operations around the world and at home to secure our borders.
To read the official announcement click here
13 June 2017
ACT GOVERNMENT RELEASES DEFENCE INDUSTRY STRATEGY
The ACT Chief Minister has released the ACT Government’s defence industry strategy entitled 'Established, Capable, Skilled'.
The strategy outlines how the ACT Government will support its world-class defence industry, to grow and benefit from Defence’s record investment.
The ACT Government Defence Industry Advocate, Kate Lundy said 'Under the strategy, we will seek to ensure you are able to access the talented and skilled workforce you need to grow. We will promote your capability to Defence, and we will also grow research and industry partnerships to ensure that our region continues to produce innovative and cutting-edge capabilities.'
The strategy and Industry Capability Directory can be downloaded here
7 June 2017
SPACE INDUSTRY SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SA STUDENTS
A $50,000 scholarships program will give South Australian students the chance to join an international space studies program.
To read the full story click here
7 June 2017
NEW NEW ARC TRAINING CENTRE FOR CUBESATS, UAVS, AND THEIR APPLICATIONS ANNOUNCED
A new ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre will develop a base of expertise in CubeSats and associated technologies, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to developing Australian research strengths in these quickly evolving new industries.
Professor Iver Cairns at The University of Sydney will lead the new ARC Training Centre for CubeSats, UAVs, and Their Applications—which has received $4.6 million through the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre scheme and additional support from The University of New South Wales and several partner organisations, including Saber Astronautics Australia Pty Ltd and the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.
To read the ARC announcement, click here
30 May 2017
HYBRID ROCKET ENGINE DEVELOPER SECURES $5 MILLION IN START-UP FUNDING
Australian company and SIAA member Gilmour Space Technologies has secured A$5 million (USD 3.7 million) to develop and launch their innovative and low-cost rockets for the small payload market – specifically, hybrid-engine rockets that use additively manufactured (or 3D printed) fuel. Australia’s Blackbird Ventures is the lead investor for this Series A funding. Others investors include Silicon Valley-based global venture capital firm 500 Startups. To read the announcement click here
29 May 2017
VIDEO OF SAA MELBOURNE EVENT 'WHAT THE NEW SPACE INDUSTRY MEANS FOR AUSTRALIA' NOW AVAILABLE
The SIAA Secretary, Peter Nikoloff, particpated in a successful event organised by our colleagues at the Melbourne-based Space Association of Australia on 22 May. A video of the presentations is available here
12 May 2017
SPACE ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH CENTRE APPOINTS DEPUTY CEO
The SIAA congratulates its Treasurer David Ball on his appointment as Deputy CEO of Space Environment Research Centre (SERC). David is one of Australia’s most experienced and respected satellite industry experts. David’s role will be to support SERC operations and its mission to develop and commercialise technologies to reduce the threat to space-based infrastructure from space debris. To read the full announcement click here
11 May 2017
2017 CUBESAT INNOVATION WORKSHOP PROCEEDINGS NOW AVAILABLE
The proceedings of the 2017 Cubesat Innovation Workshop held at the University of New South Wales in Sydney on 19 and 20 April 2017, including presentation slides and videos are now available at here
10 May 2017
OPTICAL ASTRONOMY RECEIVES NEW FUNDING IN 2017 BUDGET
The 2017-18 Budget included $26.1 million in new funding to optical astronomical research and instrumentation development and a commitment for ongoing average annual funding of $12 million, indexed, to 2027-28.
“This includes entering a 10-year strategic partnership with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) from 2018, giving Australia's astronomers access to the facilities and tools they need to participate in advancing our understanding of the universe,” the Minister of Industry Innovation and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos said.
“ESO is a world class international optical astronomy consortium operating the world’s most comprehensive suite of optical telescope facilities located in the Atacama Desert in Chile, one of the premier sites for optical astronomy globally.
“The partnership offers Australia’s astronomers long-term access to front-line astronomical facilities, with opportunities for Australian influence and technical and scientific input, to stimulate research and industry collaboration.
“Our decision to pursue this strategic partnership is enthusiastically supported by the Australian astronomy community and the broader research sector.
“We expect benefits from the partnership will be felt beyond the research community, by creating new opportunities for Australian businesses through international contracting, collaboration, and commercialisation in a range of industry sectors.”
10 May 2017
SIAA RESPONSE TO 2017 BUDGET
The Minister of Industry Innovation and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, has announced that the Australian Government will invest $100 million 'to drive innovation in Australia’s manufacturing sector to create jobs, grow businesses, improve productivity and be globally competitive.'
The $100 million package includes:
•$47.5 million for a new Advanced Manufacturing Growth Fund, committed over two years, building on the existing $155 million Growth Fund that helps industry adjust to the wind-down of car manufacturing. The funding is for up to a third of the project cost of capital upgrades to establish and expand high value manufacturing in South Australia and Victoria. This will help make businesses more competitive through innovative processes and equipment
•$4 million for the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, committed over two years, to support small scale and pilot research projects in advanced manufacturing, benefiting small firms and early stage researchers, allowing them to quickly move to larger scale research or commercialisation
•$20 million under the Cooperative Research Centre – Projects initiative, committed over two years, for larger scale advanced manufacturing research projects of up to $3 million in funding over three years
•$10 million to establish Innovation Labs in South Australia and Victoria to serve industry in a variety of roles including test centre facilities and business capability development, delivered through existing government services like Entrepreneurs’ Programme, Industry Growth Centres and Austrade
•$5 million to maintain engineering excellence by investing in student research at universities, technology institutions and in industry to continue the flow of highly trained engineers to the automotive design and engineering sector
•$13.5 million tariff reduction on imported vehicle prototypes and components used by Australian motor vehicle design and engineering services that operate in a global network.
In responding to the Budget announcements, the Chair of the SIAA, Michael Davis, said 'The Space Industry Association of Australia is also pleased to see that $100 million has been allocated to the establishment of an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to boost innovation, skills and employment in advanced manufacturing. The growing number of start-up companies developing small satellite missions (see - http://www.acser.unsw.edu.au/cubesat2017/proceedings) could well be able to benefit from this fund.
Unfortunately the groundswell of support for the SIAA’s White Paper “Advancing Australia in Space” (see http://www.spaceindustry.com.au/prezi.php) has not resulted in any financial allocation for a civil space program in this year’s Budget. The SIAA appreciates that its proposals constitute a rethinking of the governmental structures required for the administration and oversight of a permanent national space program and we will continue to advocate for the establishment of an internationally recognised national space agency as a fundamental first step in a strategy to build on our scientific and industrial capabilities and contribute to the Government’s Innovation and Science Agenda.'
5 May 2017
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE PREPARING A ROADMAP FOR A $2.3 BILLION SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS CAPABILITY
Talk Satellite has reported that the Australian Department of Defence is currently preparing a roadmap for a $2.3 billion next generation satellite communications capability that it expects to present to industry later this year. To read the full report click here
28 April 2017
SABER RECEIVES GRANT FROM NSW GOVERNMENT TO DEVELOP SATELLITE CONTROL TECHNOLOGY
To read the full announcement click here
27 April 2017
ANDY THOMAS MAKES FORCEFUL SUBMISSION TO COMMONWEALTH GOVERNEMENT
In his letter to Defence Industry Minister, Christopher Pyne, veteran Australian astronaut Dr Andy Thomas states 'it cannot be overemphasized that if Australia is really to be a player in this arena, then to avoid starting from scratch, we need to work with, and form international partnerships to take advantage of what other countries have already done...We need a centralized office that can advance Australia's interests with a firm and respected voice. Only the authority of a national space agency can do that. It is the language other international players work within and it is the forum they expect.'
To read the full text of the letter, click here
27 April 2017
ALICE GORMAN AND STEVEN FREELAND ON THE FUTURE OF SPACE EXPLORATION
What are our goals when it comes to space exploration? Are we still searching for sentient life beyond Earth? How far away are we from colonising on another planet or celestial body?
Dr Alice Gorman and Professor Steven Freeland feature in The Space Race, a podcast in the Think: Sustainability series by Radio 2SER.
To listen to the Podcast click here
26 April 2017
VIDEO OF JEAN-YVES LE GALL'S SIAA DISTINGUISHED LECTURE NOW AVAILABLE
To view the video of the Third SIAA Distinguished Lecture - 'Inventing the Future of Space' by Dr Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES and the IAF, delivered at the Science Exchange in Adelaide on 12 April 2017 click here
26 April 2017
SIAA RESPONDS TO AUSTRALIAN LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS PAPER
The SIAA has submitted a detailed response to the Australian Government's discussion paper on the proposal to replace the Space Activities Act with new legislation, to streamline the process of obtaining permission to launch Australian payloads and for the licensing of launch facilities in Australia. To read the SIAA's submission click here
19 April 2017
THREE AUSTRALIAN CUBESATS SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED
Three satellites developed by Australian universities were launched today to the International Space Station as part of the QB50 global atmosphere monitoring research project.
Three teams from the Universities of Adelaide, South Australia, Sydney, and New South Wales each designed and built satellites, as part of a network of Cubesats from more than 20 countries to be deployed from the International Space Station.
The satellites will be used to conduct scientific research in the largely unexplored thermosphere, around 400 kilometres above the Earth. The international project is coordinated by Belgium’s von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics.
Australia's Minister of Industry and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, said 'I’m delighted that Australia is participating in this exciting project, demonstrating our world-class capability in building and testing CubeSat technologies.'
To read the Minister's press release click here
In addition, a US satellite called Biarri Point carrying a GPS payload developed by the University of New South Wales (Sydney) with the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group was also included in the same launch. For more details go to https://www.dst.defence.gov.au/news/2017/04/20/biarri-satellite-heads-space.
13 April 2017
SOUTH AUSTRALIA AND FRANCE DISCUSS OUT OF THIS WORLD SPACE TECHNOLOGY
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill and Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith today met with the President of CNES, Dr Yves Le Gall, to discuss opportunities for cooperation between the French Space Agency and South Australia.
According to Mr Weatherill 'South Australia is leading the way in the growth and development of Australia’s space sector and it is our vision to position the state as a vibrant hub for future space activity and industry development'.
The chance to partner with CNES and French industry in the areas of emerging innovation, including small satellites, advanced manufacturing and data economy was also discussed.
To read the full media release click here
3 April 2017
SPACE ACTIVITIES ACT TO BE REPLACED BY NEW LEGISLATION
The Australian Government is proposing a complete overhaul of the regulatory framework that governs launches from Australia and the licensing of Australian satellites
According to a just-released Legislative Proposals Paper, the current Space Activities Act will be replaced by new legislation and subordinate regulations. To download the paper, click here
The review found that the existing legislation introduces an unnecessary level of inflexibility, resulting in inefficiencies for both applicants and administering agencies.
An SIAA Working Group has been established to provide industry input by the deadline of 17 April. For more information, email email@example.com
31 March 2017
AMCHAM SUPPORTS SIAA WHITE PAPER 'ADVANCING AUSTRALIA IN SPACE'
The American Chamber of Commerce Innovation Delegation met with and delivered the attached letter to Minister for Industry and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos this week.
They also had a full day of meetings with other politicians and policy makers in which space was briefly discussed or mentioned.
The letter sets out the strong historic relationship in space activities between the US and Australia and endorses the SIAA's call for a permanent national space program overseen by an Australian Space Agency.
The AmCham letter can be downloaded here
30 March 2017
DR JEAN-YVES LE GALL TO GIVE SIAA DISTINGUISHED LECTURE IN ADELAIDE ON 12 APRIL
Dr Jean-Yves Le Gall will give the Third SIAA Distinguished Lecture in Adelaide on 12 April 2017. As President of CNES, Dr Le Gall is one of the world's most prominent space figures. He leads one of the world's biggest space agencies with centres of excellence in Paris, Toulouse and French Guiana. CNES has 2,450 employees and a budget of more than €2.3 billion (2017). In addition to his role with CNES, Dr Le Gall is President of the International Astronautical Federation and Chair of the Council of the European Space Agency. He takes an active role in international space cooperation, including his 3G policy initiative of advocating greater diversity of gender, geography and generations in the space sector.
For more information click here
22 March 2017
AUSTRALIA'S NATIONAL SCIENCE STATEMENT RELEASED
The Australian Government today released Australia's National Science Statement 2017.
The Statement 'articulates the importance the Australian Government places on having a strong and stable science system and its recognition of the long‑term nature of science. It sets out a vision and strategic policy framework for science in Australia, and establishes whole‑of‑government principles that are intended to guide decision making and provide a secure, stable and enduring foundation for Australian science. It will position Australia to take advantage of our strengths in science over the long term, increasing the return on our investment and driving future prosperity.'
To read the Statement click here
21 March 2017
LAUNCH OF 'ADVANCING AUSTRALIA IN SPACE'
The SIAA's White Paper contribution to the current national discussion on the future of the space sector 'Advancing Australia in Space' was today launched in a teleconference attended by over 25 SIAA members and media representatives.
The essential theme of the White Paper is that a National Space Program, implemented by an internationally recognised space agency, is a critical element of any national strategy for the transition of the Australian economy. 'It is impossible to imagine a prosperous high-tech future for Australia that does not include a government plan for the accelerated development of our space industry.'
To watch a video report, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcdF0f7Xp8k&feature=youtu.be
To download the White Paper, click here
20 March 2017
SIAA TO LAUNCH WHITE PAPER - ADVANCING AUSTRALIA IN SPACE
The SIAA White Paper ‘Advancing Australia in Space’, will be launched in a teleconference on at 1.00 pm Australian Eastern time on Tuesday 21 March.
The White Paper provides evidence that the Australian space sector currently has a 0.8% share of the global space economy, producing annual revenues of $3-4 billion and employing between 9,500 and 11,500 people.
Highlights of the White Paper include:
• Evidence that the Australian space sector currently produces annual revenues of $3-4 billion and employs between 9,500 and 11,500 people from its 0.8% share of the global space economy
• Articulation of the Australian ‘case for space’
• A call for an urgent government commitment to a permanent national space program of industry development overseen by an Australian Space Agency reporting directly to the Minister
• A proposed industry development target to double Australia’s market share within five years
• A longer term target of a five-fold share of the world market for Australian industry within 20 years.
‘Advancing Australia in Space’ will be launched with principal authors Mark Ramsay, Dr Alice Gorman and Michael Davis, and Chair of the Australian Earth Observation Community Coordination Group Professor Stuart Phinn speaking via teleconference.
To register to attend the teleconference email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
16 March 2017
DEFENCE NEXT GENERATION TECHNOLOGIES FUND LAUNCHED
The Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, has launched the $730 million Next Generation Technologies Fund, a new investment in Australian defence capability and innovation. The Defence Science and Technology Group will lead the program focused on nine transformational technology areas, highlighted in the 2016 Defence White Paper, including space capabilities. To read the Minister's announcement, click here
11 March 2017
MEDIA COVERAGE FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S SPACE PLANS
To read the story published in the Advetiser SA Weekend Magazine, click here
3 March 2017
JAPAN ENACTS SPACE ACTIVITIES ACT
On November 16, 2016, Japan’s Space Activities Act was promulgated, establishing a system for licensing the launching of rockets and the operation of satellites by private-sector companies. For more information click here
21 February 2017
SIAA RELEASES ACIL ALLEN REPORT ON SBAS FOR AUSTRALIA
In 2016 the Space Industry Association of Australia commissioned ACIL Allen Consulting to undertake a high level review of applications that utilise Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) in other countries, and to consider the potential benefits of deploying SBAS in Australia.
The report entitled 'SBAS and Australia - Potential Applications of an SBAS in Australia' has now been received. It includes a review of its utility and application in multiple Australian sectors - aviation, transport and logistics (including rail), maritime, agriculture and surveying, mapping and location based services. A copy of the report is available here
The report makes the following findings:
Sufficient information is now available to support an updated and comprehensive review of SBAS and a cost/benefit evaluation for Australia.
Any benefit/cost assessment of the application of an SBAS should be undertaken across a portfolio of applications rather than examining an application in one sector alone.
Aviation, transport and agriculture are the most likely industry sectors to benefit.
Safety is also an area that is critical to these sectors and should be taken into account in any future evaluation.
The SIAA welcomes the recent Australian Government announcement to fund a project to assess and test SBAS’s potential to meet Australia’s positioning needs. Such activities are well aligned with the report’s recommendations.
For further information, please contact:
Michael Davis, Chair, SIAA – Email: email@example.com
Jeff Kasparian, Deputy Chair, SIAA – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
19 February 2017
SIAA CHAIR INTERVIEWED ON THE NEW SPACE RACE
SIAA Chair Michael Davis was interviewed on ABC Radio's Sunday Extra Program on the new space race. To listen to the audio, click here
17 February 2017
SCIENCE AND INNOVATION TREATY WITH NEW ZEALAND INCLUDES SPACE
The Australian Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, and the New Zealand Minister for Economic Development, Transport and Communications, Simon Bridges, today signed a treaty-level Science, Research and Innovation Cooperation Agreement at the Australia New Zealand Leaders' Meeting in Queenstown. The Agreement includes the ten year Square Kilometre Array project and a New Zealand contribution to the recently announced Australian Government Space Based Augmentation System trial. To read the Ministerial announcement click here
13 February 2017
PROF SIMON DRIVER ON 'WHY IT'S TIME FOR AUSTRALIA TO LAUNCH ITS OWN SPACE AGENCY'
To read Prof Simon Driver's latest article in The Conversation, click here
13 February 2017
SIAA MEMBER LOCKHEED MARTIN HAS JOINED WITH INMARSAT AND GMV IN GEOSCIENCE AUSTRALIA'S EXPERIMENTAL SBAS PROJECT
For more details click here
27 January 2017
50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE OUTER SPACE TREATY
On 27 January 1967 the Outer Space Treaty was signed by an original 62 countries, including Australia.
Fifty years later, 104 States are parties to the Outer Space Treaty. These include all the major space powers. States that merely use or benefit from space technologies and capabilities have also signed the treaty in order to avail themselves of its rights. It has recently been written that "a study in successful treaty-making within the UN system, and especially against the backdrop of Cold War geopolitics, the Outer Space Treaty is an excellent example of skilled diplomacy and negotiation for mutual benefit and for a peaceful outcome" - see http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3155/1
The program for International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide in September includes a young scholars session on the topic how the Outer Space Treaty, were it drafted today, would seek to regulate outer space activities as they are to develop further. Deadline for abstracts is 28 February - see http://www.iac2017.org
The International Institute of Space Law is also conducting a Highlight Paper competition on the topic 'The Outer Space Treaty 1967 - 2017', The deadline is 1 March 2017, see http://iislweb.org/?p=1137
19 December 2016
SABER ASTRONAUTICS GAINS SPACE CERTIFICATION FROM THE SPACE FOUNDATION
Leading Australian space startup, Saber Astronautics, has received Certified Space Technology status from the Space Foundation for its innovative operations software. The software, called the Predictive Ground Station Project (a.k.a., "PIGI"), uses video game technology to enable people to create their own missions and operate large numbers of satellites with very little training.
For more details click here
14 December 2016
OUR FUTURE IS IN RUINS: THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF SPACE, SATELLITES AND ORBITAL JUNK
SIAA Advisory Council member, Dr Alice Gorman, is quoted in an ABC on-line story as saying "The problem isn't the technology, the problem is the anti-satellite weaponry. No one wants a major international incident because of that, and there there's no international agreement that makes people feel safe enough for that to happen."
To read the full story click here
13 December 2016
ANTARCTICA MAY HOLD THE KEY TO REGULATING MINING IN SPACE
In an article in The Conversation, Prof Juan Francisco Salazar of Western Sydney University points out that outer space and Antarctica have some uncanny similarities and that both spaces are contested political frontiers. He argues that a normative framework is still needed that can oversee space mineral resources exploration and exploitation and that Antarctica provides a model to keep in consideration.
To read the full story click here
24 November 2016
ACT GOVERNMENT INVESTS IN SPACE AND SECURITY RESEARCH
The ACT Government has awarded UNSW Canberra $750,000 to create a world-class Space Mission Design Facility and to jointly develop a ground station for quantum encrypted satellite communication. For more details click here