Momentum’s flagship space summit grabs national headlines

Momentum’s flagship space summit grabs national headlines

The Aus Space 24 Australian Space Summit and Exhibition has received widespread media coverage as it hosted the US Air Force and other prominent domestic and international space industry experts.

The Australian Space Summit and Exhibition returned for its third consecutive year, featured two main stages, and hosted over 70 speakers who engaged with an audience of more than 1,000 passionate space enthusiasts.

The first day of the Aus Space 24 Australian Space Summit and Exhibition 2024 was held on Tuesday, 28 May at ICC Sydney. The event will conclude today (29 May).

The hotly anticipated event attracted the attention of several media outlets, including Sky News Australia.

The coverage shone a light on how the summit enabled the Australian space industry to connect with their international counterparts, including officials from the US Air Force, who are eyeing potential partners for various aerospace programs.

Indeed, the report noted, the summit opens doors for the domestic industry to form “hugely profitable partnerships”, which is essential given the Australian Space Agency’s comparatively smaller budget compared to other parts of the world.

Space Connect editor Adam Thorn said: “This year’s summit was the first two-day event Momentum has attempted and it was an amazing effort by the team. 

“But it was all worth it as the event has now transformed from a local event to a truly global occasion. Our summit is now the premier space event in Australia.”

Among the more than 60 speakers addressing the space industry this year is Under Secretary of the US Air Force, Kristyn E. Jones, and Brigadier General Anthony J Mastalir (the commander overseeing the US Space Force’s Indo-Pacific team), along with the new head of Australia’s own Space Command, Major General Gregory Novak.

In her role, Jones oversees an annual budget of over $205 billion at the US Air Force, and directs strategy and policy development, risk management, weapons acquisition, technology investments, and human resource management across a global enterprise.

Speaking to Sky News Australia at the summit, Jones said: “It’s a great opportunity for us to continue to build on the outstanding relationship between the United States and Australia in the aerospace domain”.

Australian engineers – who have been instrumental in supplying the scramjet used by US fighter jets – are eager to receive a slice of the $210 billion funding overseen by Jones.

In a milestone development for the local hypersonic industry, Brisbane-based aerospace engineering company Hypersonix was chosen in 2023 to supply the US Department of Defense with one of its vehicles for testing.

Hypersonix took delivery of a demonstrator version of the “Spartan” scramjet engine that will power its in-development hypersonic “spaceplanes” shortly thereafter.

The Sky News Australia report highlighted that other companies in Australia are uniquely placed to develop and produce “cutting-edge” defence technology.

“I’ve understood that there are companies that are doing fantastic things with hypersonics, [and] with space launch. All are of great interest to us,” Jones said.

SSC Space Australia – Swedish Space Corporation managing director Matt Creamer also participated in a panel session yesterday ahead of the opening of an orbital launch site in Sweden next year, the first in mainland Europe.

Creamer outlined how Australia can collaborate with space’s middle powers and use its geographical strengths and other countries’ know-how to advance its influence in the evolving space sector.

“To have alternatives to the traditional launch providers that exist in the marketplace is a really great thing for everybody,” he told Sky News Australia.

“More launch providers mean more competition, which means that it’s bringing down that cost of launch.”

The first day of the Aus Space 24 Australian Space Summit and Exhibition also received media coverage from several other outlets, including Channel 7, The Guardian, the Nikkei, and AAP.

Jones will deliver the welcome address on day two of the summit today, while attendees will also hear from Australia’s first astronaut, Dr Paul Scully-Power, and a range of other speakers.

Throughout the day, space companies will be showcasing the latest space technology and equipment, while attendees can network with industry leaders and peers.

Winners of the Aus Space 24 Australian Space Awards were also announced last night (28 May) at The Star in Sydney, in the presence of 400 members of the space industry.

Click here to view the full list of winners.

Click here for more information about the Aus Space 24 Australian Space Summit and Exhibition.