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20 December 2013

Astronaut Paolo NespoliWhile the world shifts its gaze upwards to watch two NASA astronauts attempt spacewalks at the International Space Station over the coming days, the next generation of space explorers are descending on Adelaide.

The UniSA-International Space University’s Southern Hemisphere Summer Space Program (SHSSP), which kicks off on January 6, will see approximately 40 students from around the globe participate in an intensive five-week space education program.

A highlight of SHSSP is four public lectures held in January, which includes an International Astronaut Event, with Adelaide’s first and only person in space, Andy Thomas, and internationally renowned Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli, on January 9.  

Co-director of SHSSP Michael Davis says the International Astronaut Event will give people the opportunity to get up close and personal with a rare breed of people who have spent time out of this world.    

Astronaut Andy Thomas“While the mysteries of outer space remain in the realms of science fiction for most people, the International Astronaut Event offers people the chance to find out firsthand what it’s like to live and work in space,” he says.

“Both Andy and Paolo have spent months at a time on international space missions. The format of the event is very interactive – people will be able to ask the astronauts questions about their experiences and meet them after the presentation.

“Paolo in particular is a keen photographer and is coming armed with photographs and videos of his recent space expedition, where he spent 159 days orbiting the globe on the International Space Station.”    

The International Astronaut Event, which is sponsored by the Secure World Foundation and The Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith Fund, will be moderated by former International Space University President and Executive Director of the Secure World Foundation, Dr Michael Simpson.

Dr Simpson says the focus on this year’s event will be on how human space flight inspires young people to study science, technology, engineering and maths and pursue careers in those fields.  

Public Lectures

International Astronaut Event: Thursday, January 9, 6:00pm - 7:30pm, Allan Scott Auditorium, Hawke Building, University of South Australia, City West Campus.

Space for Disaster Management: Thursday, 16 January, 6:00pm - 7:30pm, MC1-02, Mawson Centre, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes Campus.

Astrobiology - Where do we come from and what is our fate?: Thursday, 23 January, 6:00pm - 7:30pm, Allan Scott Auditorium, Hawke Building, University of South Australia, City West Campus. 

Space and Mining: Thursday, 30 January, 6:00pm - 7:30pm, MC1-02, Mawson Centre, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes Campus.

Registrations for the public lectures are essential and can be made at http://unisa.edu.au/spaceprogram

Contact: 

Michael Davis mobile 0419 170 251 email MDavis@adelta.com.au

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