The exhibition booths had been lit and the air was abuzz with the grind of coffee machines. Delegates and representatives ambled into the hall as early as eight o’clock, greeting each other mirthfully as if reuniting with old friends. This crowd could only be the Australian space community, as we had gathered once again for the 12th Australian Space Forum.
In the several months prior, the Andy Thomas Space Foundation had been working hard behind the scenes to ensure the day would go smoothly. In July, the Foundation became the first not-for-profit entity in the Australian space sector that had been granted Deductible Gift Recipient (charity) status, a significant milestone that would help promote STEM education across Australia. With much of the country still in the grip of a pandemic, it was something like a miracle to be able to enjoy this forum at the Adelaide Convention Centre, knowing that many were tuning in virtually.