A stellar line-up of local, national and international space thought-leaders and innovators will come together for the 12th Australian Space Forum in the nation’s Space State – South Australia.

NASA astronaut and physicist Dr Shannon Walker will be a headline speaker at the forum, which is set to attract more than 600 virtual and in-person participants.

Premier Steven Marshall said strong attendance amid the pandemic highlighted the importance of the event to the space community as the ultimate showcase of space industry innovation, research and entrepreneurial development.

“Despite challenging times, South Australia’s vibrant space ecosystem is thriving, and I look forward to seeing our space industry continue on its upward trajectory,” Premier Marshall said.

“We are home to more than 80 space tech companies and momentum continues to grow with a world-class entrepreneurial community building at Lot Fourteen, creating hundreds of jobs and providing a springboard for our brightest innovators to collaborate.

“South Australia’s mission to launch its first locally manufactured satellite into Low-Earth Orbit is taking shape and we’ve made considerable progress towards cementing our state as a global launch destination, with a second rocket launch facility licence issued by the Australian Space Agency.

“My government is steadfast in our commitment to supporting the growth of the national space sector and this forum provides a critical platform for the nation’s space community to come together, share ideas and collaborate on new technologies to ensure we capitalise on the lucrative global space economy.”

The forum, hosted by the Andy Thomas Space Foundation and supported by the South Australian Government, Australian Space Agency, SmartSat CRC and AMDA Foundation will be future-focused, with a spotlight on international space trends and panel sessions covering topics such as advancing our satellite manufacturing capabilities, reimagining the opportunities for Earth observation technologies and exploring applications for on-Earth and off-Earth remote operations.

Global perspectives will also be a focal point, with renowned satellite engineer Professor Martin Sweeting, who pioneered rapid-response, low-cost small satellite technology among a raft of international speakers at the event.

More than 50 space-related organisations will exhibit their know-how, providing visitors the opportunity to explore the innovative technologies being used in space to benefit life here on Earth.

Chair of the Andy Thomas Space Foundation Chair, Michael Davis AO, said the Australian Space Forum is a highlight on the Australian space events calendar, thanks to strong support from stakeholders, led by the South Australian Government.

“Every six months at the forum, we learn more about developments in our local space sector, celebrate achievements, and have the chance to learn from and interact with leading global space experts,” Mr Davis said.

The growth of Australia’s space sector is opening the doors to a plethora of future career pathways for South Australian school students and the Department of Education’s Schools Space Passport sessions will inspire 150 secondary students to begin planning their exciting careers in space.

For program and registration details, both virtual and in person, visit www.forum.andythomas.foundation