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Privatisation of Space


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Mars One, a private, not-for-profit Netherlands company, plans to send four colonists on a one-way trip to Mars by 2025. The $6 billion trip – by their estimates – will be partly funded by a reality television program … if it ever gets off the ground (experts have serious hesitations). Richard Branson’s space tourism venture, Virgin Galactic, is shrouded in a similar mix of grand dreams and legitimate doubt. Last year’s shuttle crash in the California desert was a reminder that recreational space travel is inherently risky … though Branson maintains it’s business as usual for his goal of allowing anyone with the financial means to visit space, to ‘experience the awe of seeing Earth from above’.

Throughout human history, fewer than 550 humans have been to space. Is all this about to change? What are the potential political, cultural and environmental impacts of space travel, funded and organised by corporations whose interests are commercially led? And could giant leaps into space result in smaller steps for mankind here on earth, when it comes to fixing the problem of climate change?

Welcome to space exploration, 21st century style.

Hosted by Angus Hervey, our panel includes Mars One finalist Dianne McGrath, space startup accelerator CEO Tim Parsons (delta-V) and space archaeologist Dr Alice Gorman.

A good event starts great conversations. Here’s your chance to stay back a while and meet the guest speakers. Nibbles provided. Drinks at bar prices.


Dianne McGrath

Dianne McGrath is a shortlisted Mars One astronaut candidate, seeking to establish the first permanent human settlement on Mars. A sustainability consultant doing research at RMIT University on food waste, Dianne has completed multiple university degrees, and has had an extensive career in the priva... Read more

Angus Hervey

Angus Hervey is a science communicator, with a background in environmental economics and international political economy. He is the co-founder of Future Crunch, a forum for critical debate on how recent scientific and technological breakthroughs are affecting the way people live and work. He holds a... Read more

Alice Gorman

Dr Alice Gorman is space archaeologist and author of the award-winning book Dr Space Junk vs the Universe: Archaeology and the Future (MIT Press, 2019). Her research focuses on the archaeology and heritage of space exploration, including space junk, planetary landing sites, off-earth mining, and spa... Read more

Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons is a seasoned tech exec and entrepreneur who also happens to be founding CEO of Sydney-based, Space 2.0-focused startup accelerator delta-V SpaceHub. Tim holds an Aerospace PhD, and has had a 20 year commercial career in online, digital media, product design and IPTV. ... Read more


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