With the power of technology, the world’s largest space science research Assembly is at your fingertips.

Your registration includes access to all the Commissions, the Intersect Program and Value Added Sessions. See the whole COSPAR 2021 week at a glance.

Public Lecture


Tuesday 2 February 2021
AEDT 12:00 - 13:10

What is it like to work in space exploration and specifically on the M2020 Mission? How did the Australian Adrian Brown make his way from Melbourne to NASA as the Deputy Program Scientist for the Mars 2020 mission? What is the connection between the rocks of Mars and those of the Pilbara in Western Australia and how can our rocks help in the search for life on another planet? This mission is the first part of an ambitious plan to eventually bring samples from Mars back to Earth.

Here is your opportunity to learn firsthand about M2020 from one of the key NASA scientists. Participants even have the opportunity to ask Dr Brown questions.

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The sky is not the limit: Australia’s Future in Space Science

Tuesday 2 February 2021
AEDT 14:00 - 15:30

A new strategic plan for Australian space science has been under development for some time on behalf of the Australian Academy of Science. This has been informed by several expert working groups, surveys, and other consultation. This session will provide opportunity for public comment on the draft Plan.

Our society is increasingly dependent on space derived services, while the burgeoning pace of space activity will unleash new opportunities and risks. The Plan outlines a framework for space science to advance Australia’s interests and priorities by contributing to discovery and innovation, the economy, security, society, and the workforce. Space science is a fundamental enabler for space industry and applications, and Australia’s world-class expertise in space science is critical for effectively leveraging these opportunities and mitigating risks.

This is the opportunity to provide constructive feedback helping shape the Plan for the benefit of all Australians.

View the "The sky is not the limit: Australia’s Future in Space Science" PDF Access via the Platform

Lockheed Martin Workshop

Cloud Computing for Space Sciences
Tuesday 2 February 2021

As space becomes increasingly accessible due to the burgeoning global space industry, the volume of data produced by space research missions is expected to continue rising exponentially.

Opportunities for accelerating scientific discovery come with challenges in scaling traditional scientific processing workflows. A possible model for addressing such needs is the adoption of cloud compute technologies and open source software. At the same time, the deployment of cloud compute technologies can allow researchers to address calls for scientific reproducibility.

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Lockheed Martin Workshop

The rise of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques is creating opportunities for space science missions with unprecedented capabilities. By augmenting traditional rule-based decision making with AI techniques (such as decision policies in deep reinforcement learning), robotic missions may become highly autonomous. Furthermore, ML advances will augment the capabilities of crews serving in extended space missions.

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What Would You Do? Law and Ethics in Space

Monday 1 February 2021
AEDT 11:00 - 12:30

Imagine you work with a company that has developed a lunar rover, and you want to compete for a contract with NASA to extract and sell water ice on the Moon. You need a launch partner, and you need to know how your activities on the Moon will be regulated. But what if there is a risk of colliding with space debris during the launch? What if debates at the UN raise concerns about protecting the lunar environment, or about who can share in the benefits of these commercial activities, under the Outer Space Treaty? What is the lawful thing to do, and what is the right thing to do? In this session, space law and ethics experts will talk you through a hypothetical scenario, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions and propose answers.

Moderated by Dr Cassandra Steer. Dr. Cassandra Steer is a Mission Specialist with the ANU Institute of Space (InSpace), and a Senior Lecturer at the ANU College of Law specialising in space law, space security and international law.

View the "What Would You Do? Law and Ethics in Space" PDF Access via the Platform

Leadership Forum


Sunday 31 January 2021
AEDT 07:00 – 08:00

The Leadership Forum is perfectly tailored for COSPAR 2021 participants. Featuring Keoki Jackson (USA) Lockheed Martin, Professor Russell Boyce, Chair for Space Engineering at UNSW Canberra and Chair COSPAR 2021; Elanor Huntington, Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the Australian National University (ANU) and moderated by Darryl Krook, one of Australia’s most challenging Strategic and Organisational Development Consultant.

View the "Leadership Forum" PDF Access via the Platform

Lockheed Martin Workshop

Machine Learning For Space Sciences
Sunday 31 January 2021

The widespread availability of machine learning (ML) technologies promises to disrupt scientific disciplines.

Popular open source ML frameworks are not only useful for data-driven model fitting, but also for efficient computation of physics-based models. This COSPAR 2021 workshop is dedicated to showcasing use cases of ML technologies to observational and simulation data.

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Space Agency Leaders’ Round Table


Saturday 30 January 2021
CET 14:00 - 15:30
AEDT Midnight – 01:30 (Sunday)

Moderated by COSPAR President, Dr Len Fisk, the key topics that will be discussed include:

  • Hazards and challenges of climate change and relevant space observations.
  • Observations and initiatives required for the forecasting of space weather.
  • Scientists-industry relationships and the challenges of emerging private actors.
  • Opportunities and projects for the sustainable use of small satellites for space research.
  • International cooperation in planetary exploration, astrophysics, and human space exploration.
See the Round Table



Saturday 30 January 2021
AEDT 17:00 - 18:00

As part of its Scientific Assembly COSPAR presents awards and medals to members of the space science community. This year’s awards are being presented online. Extended interviews with the Awardees are available on the COSPAR 2021 website.

View Awardees


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Fast Facts

The Help Desk was the most visited chat space with 48,540 posts and 8,848 unique viewers. Lockheed Martin’s workshop had a total of 103 posts and 118 unique viewers. The Climate Change topic was well above average with a total of 5,833 clicks followed by the Opening & Awards Ceremony with a total of 3,656 clicks.

Total registrants that attended was 11,410 and user total was 67,650.

  • Peak time was during the PM shift (Europe & Asia Pacific)

Most popular Spaces:

  1. Lobby with 29,957
  2. Full program with 26,960
  3. Scientific program with 16,201
  4. Lounge 1 – Genesis with 14,309
  5. Resources with 16,832 – peak time in the AM shift (Americas)

Top Documents:

  1. Cospar program posters 2021 with 491
  2. About COSPAR2022 with 450
  3. COSPAR Program Timetable 2021 with 424
  4. 2021 In Need of Space with 399
  5. Lockheed Martin Workshops with 373

Top Companies:

  1. Lockheed Martin
  2. CSIRO
  3. North-West University
  4. Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  5. UNSW

Post Congress Information

The Covid-19 pandemic forced deferral of the Sydney Assembly from August 2020 to January 2021 and redesign of the presentation mode from 100% in-person to either 100% virtual presentation or a mix of virtual and in-person presentations (COSPAR-2021-Hybrid).

During the events of the week, we all engaged with an extremely high quality COSPAR scientific program. There were 615 sessions, each delivered twice; over 2,000 scientific presentations; and three excellent workshops led by our anchor sponsor Lockheed Martin. Over 2,000 delegates were active on the platform each day. From the app, there have been over 2,000 downloads, more than 117 thousand page hits, and the number keeps rising. The assembly website has had over unique 11,000 users accessing content.


© COSPAR 2021