Despite being forced to move entirely online only a week out from the event, the 10th Australian Space Forum proved itself once again to be the premier event on the Australian space calendar, launching the South Australian Space Sector Strategy.
The event, on Wednesday, 25 November 2020, attracted a massive 1,200 registrations from attendees around the globe, as well as world-class speakers from across Australia, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom, making it the largest space forum attendance since its inception in 2017.
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall opened the online event by announcing the launch of the new Space Sector Strategy, which will drive the state’s contribution to the Australian Space Agency goal of tripling the size of the nation’s domestic space industry to $12 billion by 2030.
Building on the opportunities of NewSpace—typified by commercial developments, access to venture capital, and disruption—the strategy aims to see South Australia designing, manufacturing, launching, and operating SmallSats to deliver actionable, space-derived intelligence for sovereign Australian missions.
South Australian Space Industry Centre Chief Executive Richard Price said the high-calibre, international event, was a testament to the resilience of the space industry.
“This event has experienced exponential growth over its short history, which is in no small part thanks to the enthusiasm we have seen from our local space community,” Mr Price said.
“The forum connects Australia’s space ecosystem and provides the perfect opportunity for stakeholders to network, collaborate and explore new opportunities.”
“It has been extremely heartening to see the space community adapt during what has been a difficult year as it strives to grow and achieve great new heights in space.”
Also announced at Forum was the upcoming GRAVITY Challenge 03, which is expected to commence in 2021, expanding participation to eight countries due to the success of the recently concluded second challenge.
The newly established Andy Thomas Space Foundation, which aims to champion industry, advance space education and raise space awareness across the nation, was officially launched during the event.
In another nod to South Australia’s only astronaut, the University of Adelaide announced the establishment of the Andy Thomas Centre for Space Resources, which will spearhead the optimisation of sustainable use of off-Earth resources.
Recorded sessions are now available to watch via the South Australian Space Industry Centre’s YouTube Channel.
The 11th Australian Space Forum is planned to be held on 31 March 2021 under the auspices of the Andy Thomas Space Foundation with details to follow. Watch this space!