Australia to hold 68th International Astronautical Congress in September 2017

Key Points
  • From 25-29 September 2017, Adelaide will host the world’s largest annual gathering of space professionals for 2017.
  • Australia has not hosted the IAC since 1998, the same year that Australia’s Space Activities Act 1998 (Cth) was introduced.
  • Australia’s space legislation currently under review with reform imminent, perhaps making Australia’s space industry m-ore commercially-accessible.


Australia will host the 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), the world’s largest annual gathering of space professional in Adelaide from 25-29 September 2017.

The congress, hosted by the Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA), will gather space actors from around the world. They will discuss advancement and progress of space in its various features. The focus is on secure access to satellites that provide communications, timing and navigation services, and remote sensing data.

IAC has noted that the congress “will be used to showcase Australian innovation, in and beyond the space sector, to a very well-informed global audience.  We also plan to place a strong emphasis on STEM education, with emphasis being placed on best practice with regards to the teaching of science.”

Hicksons advises on space law and is excited to be attending the week-long event.

The event will mark some important anniversaries for human space endeavour, including:

  • 60th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1
  • 50th anniversary of the signing of the Outer Space Treaty (OST). The OST seeks to ensure that outer space remains accessible and available for the benefit of all humankind
  • 50th anniversary of the launch of Australia’s first satellite, WRESAT

The recent review of the Space Activities Act 1998 (Cth) suggests the hosting of the IAC is a signpost pointing to some exciting opportunities for the Australian space industry ahead.

Watch this space (no pun intended) for further developments as the reform discourse unfolds.

Early bird tickets to the IAC 2017 are available until 30 June 2017. More information and registration about attendance at the event can be found on the official IAC 2017 website: http://www.iac2017.org/

Posted by Jack Guthrie and David Fischl

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