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Australian astronaut Katherine Bennell-Pegg to headline international space symposium in Brisbane

28 May 2024
News Release

The first qualified astronaut under the Australian flag, Katherine Bennell-Pegg, will headline a major space symposium in Brisbane on 19-21 November 2024.

The International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space (i-SAIRAS) 2024 will bring its global delegates Down Under for the first time, with the event hosted by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency. 

i-SAIRAS 2024 will convene agencies, researchers, and industry professionals engaged in advancing the science and technology of robotics, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to shape the future of space.  

Australian astronaut Ms Bennell-Pegg completed her training with the European Space Agency in Germany this year and will soon return to work at the Australian Space Agency. 

“I’m excited to come home to Australia and share the knowledge I’ve gained from my training with our growing space and tech sectors,” Ms Bennell-Pegg said. 

“Australia has an increasing number of cutting-edge AI and robotics projects contributing to global space missions – including Roo-ver, the Australian Space Agency’s rover that will head to the Moon later this decade. 

“i-SAIRAS coming to our shores will provide an opportunity to strengthen our international partnerships and learn from each other as we develop technologies that enable research in space and enhance life on Earth.”  

Ms Bennell-Pegg will be joined by a range of other distinguished speakers, panellists, and researchers, focused on the theme New Frontiers: Harnessing AI, Automation and Robotics for Space Exploration and Earth’s Challenges.  

CSIRO’s Dr Jonathon Ralston, i-SAIRAS 2024 Chair, said the symposium is a unique event in the international space calendar. 

“For 25 years, i-SAIRAS has brought together experts from the international space community to explore the latest advances in AI, robotics, and automation,” Dr Ralston said.  

“This year, we are enhancing the program with a special focus on the interconnection between advancements on Earth and their applications in space, opening the door for other industry sectors to participate.” 

The symposium will showcase national and international speakers, exhibitors, and professionals from the space, mining, digital, and manufacturing industries, including from CSIRO. 

Director of CSIRO’s Space Program, Dr Kimberley Clayfield, said the symposium reinforces the agency’s commitment to science translation between Earth and space. 

“Key technology developments on Earth offer new and exciting ways to explore space and better understand our solar system, and vice versa,” she said. 

“We’re already seeing AI and machine learning unlock vastly improved processing and analysis for Earth observation data, helping researchers better understand the world around us. 

“i-SAIRAS is a golden opportunity for the AI, robotics, and automation community to gather share their science, and innovate.” 

Registrations are open now, with early bird prices available until 30 September. Visit to learn more. 

Researchers interested in submitting abstracts for the Symposium can do so until 23 June 2024. 

Notes to editor 

i-SAIRAS 2024 key technical themes 

  • AI and Deep Space Exploration: Focusing on the use of AI in navigating and conducting research in deep space environments. 
  • Robotics in Space Exploration, Construction and Repair: Exploring advancements in robotics for building space stations, satellites, and conducting repairs. 
  • Autonomous Systems for Planetary Exploration: Discussing the development of autonomous rovers and drones for exploring planetary surfaces. 
  • Onboard autonomy: Mission planning, fault management, remote operations, guidance, navigation and control. 
  • Sustainability in Space Exploration: Addressing the sustainability of long-term space missions and the responsible use of space resources. 
  • Human-Robot Collaboration in Space: Innovations in robotics enhancing human capabilities in space missions. 
  • In-Situ Resource Utilisation: Habitats, infrastructure, equipment for human exploration and foundation services. 
  • On-Orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (OSAM): Increase responsiveness to upcoming challenges and requirements for spacecraft orbiting Earth. 
  • Interoperability and Standardisation: Support standardisation and modularity to prepare spacecraft for interventions. 

As well as the core technical themes, CSIRO’s special theme focuses on the potential that exists when advancements in science and technology on Earth and in space are linked together through:  

  • Space-to-Earth Technology Transfer: Exploring how space technology innovations can be applied to solve challenges on Earth. 
  • Earth-to-Space Technology Transfer: Exploring how terrestrial technology innovations can be applied to solve challenges in space. 

About i-SAIRAS 

First held in 1999, the International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation (i-SAIRAS) is held every two years, with each edition hosted on a different continent. 

The symposium is driven by five international space agencies: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), European Space Agency (ESA), Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and German Aerospace Center (DLR). 

These agencies approached CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, to host i-SAIRAS 2024. It will be the first time the event has been held in Australia. 

The event attracts global agencies, researchers, and industry professionals working in AI, robotics, and space exploration, to share knowledge, foster collaborations, and shape the future of space technology. 

Originally Appeared Here

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