Australia kicks off 3rd Off Earth Mining Forum

Image courtesy of ACSER UNSW

Today, The Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) kicked off its 3rd Off Earth Mining Forum (OEMF), hosted by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney from 19-20 September.

First held in 2013, with a second installment in 2015, the forum explores the in-situ use of space resources, such as moon, Mars and asteroid mining. Discussing the economics, regulatory frameworks, and technologies needed, this year’s participants include representatives from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), Dassault Systems, United Launch Alliance (ULA), the government of Luxembourg, and researchers from Japan.

So far, the talks have included one by Marc Serres, Head of Space Affairs, Luxembourg, on off-earth mining laws and regulations; this follows the passing of Luxembourg’s space mining laws in July this year, making it the first member of the European Union (EU) to do so.

The first day of OEMF has also seen a presentation by ULA’s Melissa Sampson on ULA’s lunar lander, which is currently being developed for US company Astrobotic, as well as a talk on space robotics by former Space Shuttle commander Pamela Melroy.

Tomorrow will see more specific presentations on the technologies need to mine Mars, the moon, and asteroids, as well as details on planning a mission. The event is held as part of the Sydney Space Festival, which is taking place from 19-22 September, as a precursor to the International Astronautical Congress 2017 (IAC), in Adelaide, from 25-29 September 2017.

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