Space - Australia's Final Frontier?November 21 2010
Australia might not be launching rockets, training astronauts or developing space probes, but our involvement in space is significant, according to a leading space science expert.
Professor Andrew Parfitt from the University of South Australia says while salient signs of a space industry are not often visible, Australia’s participation in space is essential and valued.
“Australia is very good at space science and technology, and the processing of satellite data, and we make an important contribution without actually launching our own rockets,” he says.
“We contribute a value-add to the data we get from space and we’ve got a lot of scientific expertise here. Geographically, Australia is responsible for one eighth of the world’s surface, so accessing satellites as they pass over this part of the world has been a critical component of our space activities.”
Prof Parfitt, who will give a free public lecture ‘Space – Australia’s Final Frontier?’ on November 30, says Australia is hugely reliant on space science and its associated technologies and services. This ranges across areas including telecommunications, earth observation and navigation and the application of these technologies and services to many aspects of business and daily life.
“There’s a whole range of services we use every day that wouldn’t be possible without space,” Prof Parfitt says.
“The GPS in your car, the timing stamp when you get money from an ATM, and forecasting the weather seven to 10 days in advance are among the things we might take for granted that we couldn’t do any other way than by using space.”
Prof Parfitt’s public lecture will focus on Australia’s participation in space and explore the challenges and opportunities that space provides in the future.
UniSA through its Institute of Telecommunications Research and its expertise in communication technologies for satellite remote sensing has for many years been at the forefront of space research and education in Australia. In January UniSA will launch the Southern Hemisphere Space Program in partnership with the International Space University where professionals, graduates and senior undergraduates will participate in the intensive five-week live-in program. Graduates from the program are also eligible to continue further studies via the Graduate Certificate in Space Studies at Mawson Lakes campus.
Prof Parfitt, who is a member of the Australian Government’s Space Industry Innovation Council, will give his public lecture as part of UniSA’s Knowledge Works lecture series. The lecture will be held on Tuesday November 30 at 6pm at Allan Scott Auditorium, Hawke Building, City West Campus. Go to www.unisa.edu.au/knowledgeworks/ to register.
Areas of study and research
- Health Research
- Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA)
- Centre for Cancer Biology
- Centre for Drug Discovery and Development
- Centre for Population Health Research
- Centre of Research Excellence for the Prevention of Chronic Conditions in Rural and Remote High Risk Populations
- International Centre for Allied Health Evidence
- Medicine and Device Surveillance CRE
- Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre
and Social Sciences
- Art, Architecture and Design
- Communication, International Studies and Languages
- Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy
- Hawke Research Institute
- Asia Pacific Centre for Work Health and Safety
- Australian Centre for Child Protection
- Barbara Hardy Institute
- Centre for Research in Education
- Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence
- Centre for Islamic Thought and Education
- International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding
- Research Centre for Languages and Cultures
- Zero Waste SA Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour (sd+b)
IT, Engineering and
- Future Industries Institute
- UniSA College