2017 International Astronautical Congress

SKA at the 2017 International Astronautical Congress

9 October 2017

From 25-29 September 2017, South Australia welcomed 5000 delegates to the Adelaide Convention Centre for the 68th International Astronautical Congress. The Australian SKA Office, as part of the broader Australian Government booth, showcased the radio-astronomy project with an eye-catching backdrop and a SKA test antenna – identical to those currently installed at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory.

Jerry Skinner, from the Australian SKA Office, gave his insights on using art for community engagement with radio-astronomy in a presentation that formed part of the technical program. The Office also organised a panel of distinguished Australian astronomers who discussed how our local astronomy is helping to understand the universe and improve life on Earth.

Shared Sky, the SKA Indigenous art exhibition, was opened at the South Australia Museum to coincide with the beginning of the Congress. This exhibition reveals perspectives on astronomy from both Australia and South Africa, and has returned to Australia for the first time since its inaugural showing in Perth in 2015.

The Congress concluded with an exciting presentation from engineer and inventor Elon Musk. The founder of SpaceX talked through his plan to not only develop a fully reusable rocket for transport to Mars, but also use the same rocket technology for transport on Earth!

See below for some great photos from the events in Adelaide. Shared Sky will be on display at the South Australia Museum until 28 January 2018.


The Australian Government booth in the IAC Exhibition Hall. (Photo credit: Taya Fabijanic)


Associate Professor Alan Duffy, who chaired the discussion panel, with Jerry Skinner in front of the SKA panel at the booth. (Photo credit: Jerry Skinner)


Jerry Skinner during his presentation on the SKA Seeing Stars Art Prize. (Photo credit: Remco Timmermans @timmermansr)


Cate Setterfield, Science and Innovation Officer at the British High Commission in Canberra; Jerry Skinner, and Taya Fabijanic from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. (Photo credit: Jerry Skinner)


The Mars Rover replica robot inspecting the SKA test antenna. (Photo credit: Jerry Skinner)


The astronomy discussion panel at the 2017 International Astronautical Congress. (Photo credit: Australia's Science Channel @RiAus)



Members of the astronomy in Australia discussion panel. L-R: Professor Matthew Bailes, Swinburne University of Technology; Dr Sarah Pearce, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science; Professor Chris Tinney, University of New South Wales; Professor Steven Tingay, Curtin University; Professor Lisa Kewley, the Australian National University; Panel Chair Associate Professor Alan Duffy, Swinburne University of Technology; and Jerry Skinner, Australian SKA Office. (Photo credit: CSIRO @CSIROevents)


An international group of delegates visiting the Shared Sky exhibition at the South Australia Museum. L-R: Cate Setterfield, Science and Innovation Officer at the British High Commission (Canberra); Jerry Skinner, Manager, Australian SKA Office; Carla Sharpe, Business Manager, SKA South Africa; Dr Sarah Pearce, Deputy Director, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science; Dr Douglas Bock, Director, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science; Annabelle Young, Head of Communications, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science. (Photo credit: Jerry Skinner)

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