Sydney to host Off-Earth Mining Forum

The Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) and UNSW’s School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering will host the fourth Off-Earth Mining Forum in Sydney this month.

The forum will bring together leading local and international space and mining experts, researchers, lawyers, financiers, economists and government, to discuss Australia’s future in global space industry.

Speakers will include director of ACSER, UNSW Professor Andrew Dempster, Professor Serkan Saydam, general manager of remote robotics manufacturer, Fugro, Sam Forbes, and co-founder of Space IL, Kfir Damari, who ran the world’s first privately funded spacecraft mission to the moon.

Professors Dempster and Saydam are leading ASCER’s research to create the first commercially viable mission to mine and process water on the moon.

“If we are serious about Australia sharing the potential benefits of the new space economy and space resources, then we must look at making space ventures commercially viable and environmentally sustainable,” Dempster said.

“Australia leads the world in mining methodology and technologies, and has deep expertise in many other areas critical to space exploration. Our large land mass and location in the southern hemisphere also gives us a strategic advantage.

“We need to exploit these strengths and take the lead, or miss out on an enormous opportunity for our country’s future.”

Space exploration and missions require complementary products and services, including communications, navigation, robotics, artificial intelligence, biology and medicine.

Saydam said that the benefits of space-based technology go beyond the space sector.

“Many Australians rely on satellite communications for connectivity; transportation and logistics companies use positioning technologies to track their fleets; and mining and resource industries use satellite imagery for exploration,” Saydam said.

“Investment in space science and technology is also a valuable source of innovation for earth-based industries.”