State Library of South Australia

Woomera - special events

Date: 2 November 2017 to 12 November 2017

Note: Free, bookings essential

Woomera Exhibition - special events

Woomera put Australia into the space age. The From Outback to Outer Space: Woomera 1955 - 1980 exhibition will not only tell the story of that journey into the stars, but also what life was like for the men, women and children who lived on the ground. Presented by the State Library and the National Archives of Australia.


Past events

Introduction to spacecraft and space environment effects on them

Monday 9 October at 6:30pm
Hetzel Lecture Theatre

This free public lecture is being held in conjunction with the Mars Society Australia.

Several hundred spacecraft are in orbit around the Earth and a handful are exploring the solar system, so they have become part of everyday life in the last 50 years. The basics of spacecraft subsystems (e.g. communications, attitude control, power and thermal, sensors), orbits (geostationary (GEO), medium-earth (MEO) and low-earth (LEO)) and missions (communications, navigation, weather, remote sensing, reconnaissance) will be outlined in this talk.

Spacecraft are also immersed in a high natural radiation environment that may be detrimental to their operation. The radiation environment at GEO, MEO and low-earth LEO orbits and their considerable variability will be described. Effects on spacecraft vary widely, such as Single Event Upsets caused by high-energy protons and Deep Dielectric Discharge or Electrostatic Discharge caused by high-energy electrons. The sources of the radiation in high-speed solar wind streams, solar particle events and geomagnetic storms will be described and examples of anomalies presented.

About the speaker

Dave Neudegg is a Principal Space & Radio Scientist with the Space Weather Services (formerly known as the Ionospheric Prediction Service - IPS from 1947-2014), currently in the Bureau of Meteorology. He has worked in space and radio related areas for nearly 30 years including some spacecraft data analysis and payload operations with the DLR Equator-S and ESA Cluster-II, Mars Express and Double Star missions. Some of these missions suffered space environment (or 'space weather') effects. High-frequency (or short-wave) radio also involves the space environment as the radio waves refract off the ionosphere, and Dave has worked in this area with direction finding, communications and over the horizon radar. This work included studies of the polar ionosphere and its connection to the geomagnetic and solar magnetic fields and involved a winter in Antarctica in 1992 with a vehicle traverse onto the icecap to operate a sensor array.

Australis-OSCAR 5
Wednesday 27 September
Time: 5:30pm
Hetzel Lecture Theatre, Institute Building

How we built Australia's first satellite.
Presented by: Richard Tonkin and Dr Owen Mace.

Hear how two young University students in the 1950's, fascinated with space, built Australia's first satellite.

Space Power for Australia's Security
Wednesday 27 September at 7:30pm
Hetzel Lecture Theatre, Institute Building

Our Western way of life is fundamentally reliant on space services, with space providing critical capabilities to support our national interests. If we are to ensure these services continue, we need: an understanding of the 'geography' of space, how do we operate there, and the capabilities we employ to ensure our access (or risk mitigation if access is denied). This presentation captures the essential elements to understand national space power from an Australian perspective.

A great SPACE 101 presentation which will provide you with an appreciation of Australian space power and how it can be used for Australia's security.

About the Speaker: Darin Lovett
Wing Commander Darin Lovett is an Air Combat Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) with more than 25-years-experience in strategy and capability development for the Air and Space domains. He has a diverse background in weapons flight test and evaluation, explosives, flying anti-submarine and surveillance operations, space operations and policy, acquisition, international relations, coalition partnering; and large-scale transformation initiatives.

His 'space credentials' include: graduate of the International Space University, staff officer in Australia's joint Defence Space Coordinating Office, four years on staff to the US Executive Agent for Space within the Pentagon, and most recently Chief, Australian Space Operations Centre within HQ Joint Operations Command.

He has a Bachelor degree in Engineering (Aerospace), and Master's degrees in: Science (Technology Management), Arts (Strategy and Management), and Philosophy (Military Strategy). He is a graduate of the: Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), Canadian Forces Aerospace Systems Course (ASC), Australian Command and Staff Course (ACSC), and the US Air Force's School of Advanced Air & Space Studies (SAASS).

My time in spaceUniversity of Adelaide logo

Tuesday 26 September

  • 5:15pm - Guided tour of the exhibition, followed by the Panel discussion
  • 6pm - Panel discussion held in the Elder Hall, University of Adelaide (Register below)

Don't miss this exciting opportunity to hear former NASA astronauts Tony Antonelli (Chief Technologist, Lockheed Martin) and Dr Sandra Magnus (Executive Director, The American Institute Aeronautics and Astronautics) talk about their time in space. 3rd panel member to be confirmed soon.

Discussion facilitated by Dr Alice Gorman, Space Archaeologist at Flinders University

Woomera Rocket Range: the hub of early Australian space activity
Monday 28 August
Time: 6pm
Hetzel Lecture Theatre
In the first decade of the Space Age, Australia was considered one of the world's major space-faring nations-and South Australia's Woomera Rocket Range was the hub of the nation's space activities. Originally established in 1947 as the Western world's largest overland weapons test range, Woomera was in the right place at the right time to become the home of British, Australian and American space projects kick-started by the International Geophysical Year (1957-58). In 1967, Woomera saw the launch of Australia's first satellite, WRESAT, making this country one of the earliest to launch its own national satellite.

Join Kerrie Dougherty, Curator of the Library's Outback to Outer Space: Woomera and Space 1955-1980 exhibition as she explores the fascinating story of how the Woomera Rocket Range drew Australia into one of the most significant technological achievements of the Twentieth Century-the exploration and utilisation of space.

Kerrie's new book 'Australia in Space: a History of a Nation's Involvement' will be available for purchase, and you'll have an opportunity to have your copy signed.

Mars: the exciting history of our smaller sister planet
Monday 11 September
Time: 6.30pm
Hetzel Lecture Theatre
Mars has intrigued our imagination for centuries. Would you like to learn more? Join us for this fascinating lecture by Associate Professor Victor Gostin, University of Adelaide in partnership with Mars Society Australia.

NASA's rovers plus orbiting satellites have revealed many, often unexpected features. Not only was there a Martian ocean with tsunamis, but large impacts created warm moist conditions suitable for life. As well letting you handle a real meteorite from Mars, this talk will present a few of the many exciting features of our sister planet that have just been published.

About the speaker
Victor Gostin is a retired Associate Professor in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Adelaide. Victor lectured in earth sciences at Adelaide University from 1970 to 2001. His scientific interests include the origins and evolution of the solar system and of life, meteorite impacts, and environmental geoscience. Victor is keen to popularise earth and planetary sciences to the community through lectures and radio. Asteroid 3640GOSTIN has honoured his scientific discoveries.

Curator talk with Kerrie Dougherty
Friday 25 August at 11am
Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 August at 12pm
Institute Gallery
Join Kerrie Dougherty, exhibition curator, for a guided tour of the exhibition.

Starship Mawson at the Library
Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 August
Time: 1.30pm
Hetzel Lecture Theatre
Suitable for all ages
Stuart A Blair - Pop Culture Historian
See Stuart's presentation on the connection between Tintin and the Woomera Rocket Base. Following this one hour presentation there will be a screening of the two part Tintin Animated Adventures 'Destination Moon and Explorers on The Moon.

(NASA used the interior of the rockets ship in these animated adventures as inspiration for their own rocket ship designs during the Appollo space missions at a time when Woomera was a key player in the space race).

In conversation with Dr Chris Boshuizen

Thursday 28 September at 5.30pm
Hetzel Lecture Theatre, Institute Building

Hear Dr Chris Boshuizen, Australian Physicist, in conversation with ABC presenter Narelle Graham.

What do we know about the Solar System and Universe today?

Friday 29 September, 5:30 to 7pm
Hetzel Lecture Theatre

Presenter: Dr Jeanette Dixon AM

Knowledge about the Solar System and the vast Universe is increasing rapidly with advances in technology and research. This visual presentation will highlight many exciting recent discoveries and fascinating facts to learn more about the known features of the Solar System and Universe. It will also include explanations for common myths and mysteries about space.

Woomera Exhibition Curator talks

Saturday 30 September, 2.30pm
Sunday 1 October, 11am
Institute Gallery, Institute Building

Woomera put Australia into the space age. This exhibition will not only tell the story of that journey into the stars, but also what life was like for the men, women and children who lived on the ground. Presented by the State Library and the National Archives of Australia. Join Kerrie Dougherty, exhibition curator, for a guided tour of the exhibition.

Journey into Space in 3D

Wednesday 4 October, 11am to 12:30pm and 2 to 3:30pm
Jervois Room, Mortlock Wing

Presenter: Dr Jeanette Dixon AM

Using 3D glasses provided, you will experience a visual journey through space highlighting the the beauty and mysteries of the Solar System and the vast Universe with interesting features and fascinating new discoveries. The "journey" will also describe how astronauts live and work in space on the International Space Station in preparation for future journeys into deep space beyond Earth.

Life of an Astronaut in Space

Wednesday 4 October, 6 to 7:30pm
Hetzel Lecture Theatre, Institute Building

Presenter: Dr Jeanette Dixon AM

When astronauts prepare for a mission on the International Space Station, they must seriously train to successfully live and work in the dangerous environment of space that can affect both astronaut and spacecraft. This visual presentation will explain daily tasks that are more difficult in space, such as eating, sleeping and personal hygiene, and describe the hazards of space travel that will also affect future manned deep space missions to Mars or a return to the Moon.

From Outback to Outer Space: Records about Woomera at the National Archives

Thursday 2 November, 6 to 7pm
Hetzel Lecture Theatre

Discover the fascinating history of Woomera, and its part in the Space Race, in the collections of the National Archives of Australia (NAA).

You can see many items from the NAA's Woomera collection currently on display in the exhibition, From Outback to Outer Space: Woomera 1955 - 1980, at the State Library. However there is a wider range of records about Woomera available including documents, plans, photographs and film.

Highlights of the collection include Cabinet decisions and Prime Ministerial correspondence concerning the Anglo- Australian Joint Project, records documenting the initial construction of the town and subsequent social life, migration records of the people who worked In Woomera, administrative and technical files relating to Defence and Space Research projects and even files relating to UFO sightings and Anonymous and Eccentric letters addressed to WRE Woomera. Join us as NAA staff explore collection highlights and provide information about how you can access these records to research this fascinating history further.


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