Industries reach for the stars during Space Fortnight

Building structures in zero gravity, growing food while in orbit, searching for space resources and selecting solar destinations for humans – business and industry professionals are learning how to prepare for a future in space from global experts during a stellar two-week event at the University of Adelaide.

The class attending the 2023 Space Resources Fundamentals course

The class attending the 2023 Space Resources Fundamentals course.

Space Fortnight is headlined by the University’s flagship Space Resource Fundamentals Course, a five-day educational program teaching working professionals from diverse industries such as law, government and resources, about the growing lunar economy.

“This course is the first of its kind in Australia and provides an opportunity for industry professionals to get ahead of the game and become experts in their company for all things space-related,” said Associate Professor John Culton, Director of the University’s Andy Thomas Centre for Space Resources.

“The course covers topics such as what space resources are, how they can be used, and how we can find and collect them. An outstanding team of global space experts will enlighten participants about what the commercial sector needs to make the dream of life in space a reality.”

The long list of space specialists sharing their expertise includes Dr Charles Elachi, a former director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; the University of Tokyo’s Professor Hirdy Miyamoto, a world leading planetary geologist; and Dr Angel Abbud-Madrid, Director of the Center for Space Resources at the Colorado School of Mines.

“This is an opportunity for South Australians to see, meet and hear from global leaders in a range of disciplines – including one of the world’s best space lawyers, the University of Adelaide’s Professor Melissa de Zwart,” said Associate Professor Culton.

“Space isn’t just about engineering and science – it’s about people. This means areas such as law, psychology and architecture need to be front and centre when discussing humanity in space. If you’re going to build a city on Mars, you’re going to need all those things that a city on Earth has, including laws, architecture and even art.”

The course is being held at the University’s North Terrace campus and online from Monday, 9 October until Friday, 13 October.

Other events scheduled during Space Fortnight include:

  • Space Resource Fundamentals Seminar (14 October) – a one-day free short course for University of Adelaide students and staff.
  • Asteroid and Small Bodies Symposium (16 October) – a symposium bringing together global experts to focus on the latest research about these objects and the practical realities of accessing and using them.
  • Asteroid Mission Workshop (17 October) – an invite-only workshop for the global asteroid community to discuss a private mission to the moons of Mars for resource exploration.
  • Human-Robot Teaming for Space Workshop (18-19 October) – a two-day workshop which includes a tour of the construction site for the new Extraterrestrial Environmental Simulation analogue facility at Roseworthy, where autonomous robotic technologies for space will be tested.
  • International Symposium of Off-Earth Construction (20 October) – a one-day workshop covering all topics about off-Earth construction.


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