From the Desk of the Chair, Russell Boyce

Innovation. Many if not most of the truly disruptive technologies and innovations that have come out of the space sector, have come as a result of the needs and requirements for science missions. While operational space capabilities to meet government and telecom industry needs have tended to pursue a conservative approach, space research and research-from-space has necessitated that innovators “push the boat out” to provide the technologies needed to achieve audacious science goals.

Over the past decade or so, the space sector has undergone major disruption from the entry of new players and miniaturised satellite capabilities. This innovative technology is steadily growing in the performance that it delivers, and significant science (and other) outcomes can now be achieved by more organisations, doing so much faster and cheaper than before. As we take the technology even further, and deploy for example machine learning and quantum technologies to orbit, the opportunities for scientific and societal advances will continue to grow. Australia is now an active participant in this journey - and not just from the perspective of the science and technology capability, which is perhaps not a matter of “if” but “when” - Australians are also playing a significant role in the evolving conversation around space ethics and space conduct. Sometimes we should ask not “can we do it”, but “should we do it”?

And it’s not just space innovation that we’re engaged in down here in Oz. Our approach to organising world class international gatherings, especially at a time when the world is reeling from a pandemic and entering unknown territory, is also innovative. More of that in the coming weeks and months, but suffice to say, Australia is excited at the prospects of what will unfold at COSPAR 2021, and we’re looking forward in so many ways to sharing the innovation journey with you.

Professor Russell Boyce

Chair, Local Organising Committee

View your invitation from the Chair

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The evolving situation caused by COVID-19 around the world resulted in concerns regarding the safety of the Assembly participants. The leadership of COSPAR and the Local Organising Committee for COSPAR 2020 in Sydney, Australia have concluded that with the worldwide pandemic and accompanying social and economic disruption, COSPAR 2020 must be postponed.
COSPAR 2020 will now become COSPAR 2021 with the new dates being Thursday 28 January to Thursday 4 February 2021. The Assembly will remain at the International Convention Centre, Sydney.
All current registrations for the 2020 Assembly will be rolled over automatically to apply to 2021. Those already registered do not need to do anything to secure their attendance for 2021. All components of current registrations including registration, the Welcome Reception ticket and the Lunar Park Congress Dinner ticket will also roll over.
Yes, for those that have not registered, the early bird registration rate will be extended until 31 October 2020 via the online registration form. All registrations made through the form will now be for attendance in January 2021.
The Program Committee for COSPAR 2020 have now finalized the COSPAR Assembly Program, with more than 3000 abstracts assigned to sessions. This program will be the baseline Program for COSPAR 2021, with the same sessions, organized in the same chronological order, taking place in the same assigned rooms at the International Convention Centre in Sydney during the week of Thursday 28 January to Thursday 4 February 2021.
The reopening of the COSPAR 2021 Program for the addition of new abstracts (e.g., via a second Call for Abstracts and associated review process) and the revision or withdrawing of accepted abstracts is currently under discussion. A decision is expected by August 2021.

Allowances for adequate time to meet the Early Bird registration date of 31 October 2020 will be considered. All announcements will be made on the COSPAR 2021 website and COSPAR 2021 e-zines
If you booked accommodation through the COSPAR 2021 Accommodation Secretariat your current accommodation booking and any deposit monies paid will be held as a credit on your account. You will receive an email from the COSPAR 2021 Accommodation Secretariat with the opportunity to select your new check-in and check-out dates. Your deposit payment will then be applied to your new booking. COSPAR 2021 National Accommodation Manager is working closely with all hotels to ensure that the nightly rates for the 2021 period are the same or similar to the current booked rates. If there is a change in the nightly rate, delegates will be contacted directly to discuss. If you booked accommodation independently, you will need to contact the providers directly to make alternative arrangements.
Registrations for the COSPAR Assembly are transferrable. We encourage those who are currently registered but unable to attend in 2021 to transfer their registration to a colleague or friend. Alternatively, full refunds less $150 administration cost will be provided.
Yes. Selection of recipients for Financial Travel support for the 43rd COSPAR Scientific Assembly is now complete. For more information or to follow up on your application, please contact COSPAR Secretariat (e-mail:

Key Dates for COSPAR 2021

Abstract acceptance and program notifications letters sent out 31 March 2020
Early Bird Registration Deadline 31 October 2020
Speaker Registration Deadline 31 October 2020
Accommodation Booking Deadline 15 December 2020
43rd COSPAR Scientific Assembly 2021 28 January – 4 February 2021

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