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Collaboration key to South Australia's new frontier

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South Australia is fostering international collaboration between leading space players to develop the state’s space industry.

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Last week a selection of the world’s top space experts attended a Space Forum in Adelaide to launch the state’s Space Innovation and Growth Strategy: (South Australia) Action Plan 2016-2020.

The action plan outlines the possibilities the $323 billion global space industry presents to South Australia in the lead up to the 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) being held in Adelaide in September 2017.

The Space Forum included former NASA astronaut Andy Thomas, ISS Flight Systems Controller Andrea Boyd, representatives from the European Space Agency and multinationals including Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems and Nova Systems.

Delegates from the South Australian Government also visited Japan last week to discuss the formation of a new partnership with executives from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Defence & Space Systems domain.

Both meetings aim to develop the space sector of South Australia by continuing to form collaborative partnerships with some of the world’s leading players in space exploration.

South Australian Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith said South Australia led the way in the development of Australia’s space economy.

“Our vision is to position South Australia as a vibrant hub for future space activity and industry development,” he said.

In October, Italy and Australia committed to pursue joint research and development, academic exchange and industry collaboration in the space sector.

The agreement, signed in Rome between the South Australian Government and the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) established a collaborative partnership to pursue space-related industries.

South Australia’s place in the international space industry was cemented earlier this year after a successful test flight of an experimental rocket in the HIFiRE (Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation) program at the Woomera Test Range.

“The success of this test launch takes us one step closer to the realisation of hypersonic flight,” Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist Dr Alex Zelinsky said after the launch in May 2016.

Beside the historic test range in the desert at Woomera, South Australia is home to at least 60 space-related organisations and university programs.

Each year space experts from across the world meet at the University of South Australia’s Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program to discuss challenges and opportunities on offer in the space industry.

This year’s speakers included Alex Grant, whose South Australian company Myriota is developing tiny devices to transmit data to and from remote locations, Flavia Tata Nardini, a former European Space Agency propulsion engineer, who founded Launchbox in 2014 to change the way people understood space science, and Brett Burford, the founder of AU Launch Services, an Adelaide-based consulting group that works with CubeSat manufacturers, owners and operators and serves as a single point of contact for clients.

Nova Systems, a project management company with large defence contracts, is also in talks with Italian space companies.

The University of Adelaide has also launched an intensive post-graduate course titled Strategic Space Law to bring the legal profession up to speed with the new frontier.

Solstice Media has partnered with the South Australian Government to provide information about our state’s international connections and engagement.

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