Thursday, October 17th, 2019 - SouthStart

Australia’s human-first technology festival _southstart will play host to international and local space industry experts when it arrives at the Adelaide Convention Centre next month.

Not since the Apollo program took humanity to the moon over 50 years ago has the moon been central to the interests of the space sector. But in recent years, new opportunities have shifted the focus back - and Australia is well-placed to become a key player.

NASA’s Deputy Director for Technology and Research Investments Dr. Christyl Johnson will visit Australia for the first time since it was revealed the Australian Space Agency and NASA will partner for a new lunar mission. 

Joining Dr. Christyl Johnson is the Head of the Australian Space Agency, Dr. Megan Clark. They will explore the advantages and challenges of building a space industry here in Australia, as well as share their insights on the recently announced partnership between NASA and the Australian Space Agency to land the first woman and next man, as part of a new generation of astronauts, on the moon by 2024. 


Event Director Craig Swann said, “_southstart 2019 will provide a unique opportunity for Australian audiences to hear from leading international space agencies, startups and investors shining lights on exciting recent developments and partnerships that not only highlight new job opportunities in the sector but also inspire a whole new generation about the possibilities of space.”

And in an exclusive Australian appearance, SpaceIL’s Kfir Damari
will reveal how his startup rallied Israel behind Beresheet.

The SpaceIL Co-founder and VP Education, Damari played a key role in making the Beresheet the first privately-funded spacecraft to reach the moon, and he’ll tell the story of how his startup rallied the entire country behind their goal, as well as what they’ve learned for their next mission - a mission which has an objective that, for now, remains a tightly-kept secret.


Damari said he was excited to travel to Adelaide take part in _southstart.

“This celebration of the space industry enables brainstorming, networking, and building of 
new collaborations. It gives us all the opportunity to learn from each other, explore and pursue our common fascination with the next frontier,” said Damari. 


“Through my personal experience in building the first privately funded spacecraft that reached the moon, I have found that the greatest resource to handle all challenges on our way to reaching our goals, were: resilience, collaborations, and perseverance. All of which I am looking forward to sharing and enhancing when we all meet.”

Two pioneering local space companies will also be represented at _southstart [conference]. Flavia Tata Nardini, CEO and Co-founder of Fleet Space Technologies, returns to the festival with exciting updates on the work her company is doing to reach their goal of connecting 20 million devices in 2020.  Dr. Alex Grant, from the globally-renowned company Myriota, will also be on hand to discuss satellite connectivity for the Internet of Things.


Space Industry Speakers:

  • Dr. Christyl Johnson - Deputy Director for Technology and Research Investments, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, [USA]
  • Dr. Megan Clark - Director, Australian Space Agency
  • Kfir Damari - Co-founder and VP Education, SpaceIL [Israel]
  • Flavia Tata Nardini - CEO and Co-founder, Fleet Space Technologies 
  • Dr. Alex Grant - Co-founder and CEO, Myriota

More information and the full speaker lineup can be found here.

Space Industry Speaker images can be found here. 


About _southstart:
_southstart is a convergence of the makers, doers and entrepreneurs of Australia and beyond. Across eight days and four nights from 15 – 22 November, the event will explore the emergence of technologies that are set to explode and redefine our future.

Over 70 leading scientists, virtual technologists, winemakers, entrepreneurs, ecosystem champions and other unlikely cohorts will gather to explore the intersection of technology and humanity. There’ll be workshops, keynotes, panels, masterclasses, dinners and parties and more at over ten venues across Adelaide. Attendees can connect with 1000+ entrepreneurs, investors, technologists, creatives, field experts and other curious minds.

_southstart [conference] will take place at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 20 – 21 November. 100% of the profits from booking fees will be donated to indigenous scholarships. Tickets are available here. Full details available at


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Southstart conference speakers feature NASA experts shooting for the moon



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