Archaeologist looks to the skies

Alice Gorman London
Space archaeologist Dr Alice Gorman is presenting at the Space Innovation Congress in London this week.

South Australia is a leader in mining technology, and it could one day take a lead in the exploration of space for minerals.

Thanks to recent technological advances, mining on the Moon, Mars or even on asteroids rocketing past Earth could soon become a reality, says Flinders Department of Archaeology senior lecturer Dr Alice Gorman.

As one of the executive members of the Space Industry Association of Australia, Dr Gorman is working on a submission for the recently announced review of the Space Activities Act 1998, Australia’s principle space legislation.

The Australian Government is reviewing legislation governing civil space activities in Australia to ensure it appropriately balances Australia’s international obligations with encouraging industry innovation and entrepreneurship.

The review will help to ensure the sector keeps pace with international change and technological developments without adding unnecessary impediments to private investment.

“We have been running huge mining operations in remote locations which bear some geological resemblance to Martian landscapes,” she told a recent online “Space Mining Odyssey” media briefing. “We’re also at the forefront of implementing automation and this is one of the key technologies required,” the Flinders space archaeologist said.

“Australia has an opportunity with all our expertise to perhaps lead the conversation about space exploration.

“And South Australia is a world leader in mining technology with good exploration facilities and research institutions.”

Dr Gorman, an internationally recognised leader in the emerging field of space archaeology, is expanding her horizons in the lead-up to next year’s International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide.

She is presenting at the Space Innovation Congress in London this week on orbital debris or space junk (watch her on Twitter @drspacejunk).

The Space Industry Association of Australia and major sponsors are organising the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide in September 2017, an event expected to attract thousands of scientists and space industry experts from around the world.

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