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                 The Mars Society Australia, Inc is an APPROVED RESEARCH INSTITUTE for the purposes of Section 73A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 for undertaking scientific research which is, or may prove to be, of value to Australia.


Report on 5th Australian Space Science Conference (ASSC)

September 25, 2005

MSA had a significant presence at the 5th Australian Space Science Conference (ASSC) held in Storey Hall at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) during the 14th-16th of September 2005 ( http://www.nssa.com.au/ocs/index.php?cf=5). The ASSC is an annual conference run by the National Space Society of Australia. It is an excellent opportunity for the different Australian groups interested in space science and technology to get together. the conference is also an excwellent opportunity for outreach to students.

Members in attendance included Graham Mann, James Waldie, Adrian Brown, Andrew Wheeler, and Jonathan Clarke. Overseas members ofg the society were presented by Jennifer Heldmann from NASA Ames research centre Papers were given on MarsSkin, the Trinity Centre for Planetary and Space Science, Mars Oz, and Expedition two. A paper by Shannon Rupert and Edward Martinez on the biological results of Expedition two was also given on their behalf.

In addition to the oral presentations MSA had a large space in which to display several MarsSkins, a model of the Marsupial rover, and a range of posters and publications. The displays were well visited by the large number of university and high school students who attended the conference.

Other highlights of the conference included the several talks on the "Bees In Space" multi-school space science project. This major study is the brainchild of Professor Lachlan Thompson of RMIT, who is also its coordinator. The project will lead to the deployment of a small self sustaining and self pollinating greenhouse to Arkaroola. Similar greenhouses will also be sent to the Antarctic and eventually flown on the ISS and may pave the way to improve food production technologies of Martian and lunar settlements. MSA is a partner in this project.

MSA is already looking forward to having a presence at the next ASSC which will be held in Canberra in 2006.

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