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Friday, May 14, 2021

ANU launches space institute

The ANU earlier this week launched their new multi-discipline space innovation institute, InSpace, which will bring together technology, science and law to make advances in the field of space.

ANU Vice Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt AC said the new space institute has also been established with the intention of creating more opportunities for Australia to expand its commercial and research interests in the space industry.

“The space industry is a rapidly growing area in business and research, and with any emerging industry, comes legal and social challenges,” Professor Schmidt said.

“The new Institute will be the front door to space activities and capabilities across the University, including technology R&D, science missions, space test facilities, commercial space law, and business and finance initiatives relating to space.”

InSpace will be led by Professor Anna Moore from ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Professor Moore will be joined by Dr Milica Symul and Ms Helene Baron, who comprise the team.

They will be based out of the iconic AITC Building on Mt Stromlo; which will provide them with world-class space science and instrumentation, alongside excellent laboratories, flight test facilities and a range of meeting and conference rooms.

Professor Moore said she will be working closely with colleagues from across the University to develop multidisciplinary approaches to enhancing Australia’s space industry.

“We’ll be working with researchers from the ANU College of Law, research schools of mathematics, physics, earth sciences, computer sciences and our colleagues in public policy and national security research areas,” she said.

Dean of ANU College of Law Professor Sally Wheeler said legal regulation is in a difficult position with technology and innovation, and space is more accessible than envisaged by the international treaty makers 50 years ago.

“Law, in any situation, needs to be able to offer a regime that protects from harm but does not stifle innovation,” Professor Wheeler said.

“To do this when technology is constantly changing and harms and benefits are difficult to calculate is extremely difficult.”

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