Space Health Symposium

To celebrate World Space Week 2020 Mars Society Australia and the ad astra vita project have joined forces to present an inaugural Australasian virtual Space Health Symposium (including Human Rights in the Space Environment) to be held on Monday 5 October and Tuesday 6 October 2020 via Zoom (free registration).

We are excited to feature Human Rights in the Space Environment as the key plenary session on Day 2. That human space exploration is both expensive and dangerous is a given, but it also represents a unique set of circumstances where human beings are totally dependent on what is provided for them in order to be able to survive. However, as the good health (both physical and psychological) of expeditioners is essential for the success of the mission, spacefarers “need to thrive, not just survive”. As such, a strong human rights infrastructure is necessary to support this.

Members of the Australasian space life sciences and space law communities are especially invited to participate, but wherever you are in the world, you are welcome! University students are welcome, both as participants and potential presenters.

For more information and to register/submit an abstract, visit Space Health Symposium.

COVID-19 Pandemic

Here are some resources collated from providing public health advice (covers international statistics and USA and Australia-specific). (The text for resources 3-7 was provided by The Hill website.)

International

WHO situation reports
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/

The Hill – Here are some of the best maps to track the coronavirus epidemic
https://thehill.com/changing-america/well-being/prevention-cures/487469-here-are-some-of-the-best-maps-to-track-the

Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard

Johns Hopkins University has developed an interactive web-based dashboard to visualize and track confirmed coronavirus cases in real-time. The dashboard illustrates the location and number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries for all affected countries. It was developed to provide researchers, public health authorities and the public with a user-friendly tool to keep tabs on the outbreak as it unfolds. (or go to https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html).

The World Health Organization COVID-19 dashboard

The World Health Organization has made a similar map available that breaks down the number of confirmed cases, deaths, and countries, areas or territories with cases. 

Nextstrain COVID-19 dashboard

Nextstrain is an open-source project that tracks pathogen genome data. Its map is more technical and provides more information about how the disease has spread. It breaks down the genome of the virus, alongside a map showing how the virus has traveled country to country. 

The New York Times COVID-19 dashboard

The New York Times offers easy-to-read charts and graphs, as well as text stats breaking down the situation around the world. 

nCoV2019.live COVID -19 dashboard

A 17-year-old computer whiz from Seattle built an interactive map to keep the world updated on the COVID-19 pandemic. The website has been visited by 12 million people since it was launched by Avi Schiffmann in December, according to The Times of Israel. The site automatically scrapes data from sources all around the world and updates every minute. It offers stats on confirmed cases, serious cases, deaths and recoveries.

Worldometers – includes both statistics and graphs
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

The Washington Post – Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/

The Lancet – COVID-19 and Italy: what next?
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30627-9/fulltext

Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now
https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca

Europe’s Doctors Repeat Errors Made in Wuhan, China Medics Say
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-17/europe-s-doctors-getting-sick-like-in-wuhan-chinese-doctors-say

stayinghomeclub – A list of all the companies WFH or events changed because of COVID-19
https://stayinghome.club/ (contributions to the lists are accepted)

Hygiene resources

Good technique for hand washing and using hand sanitiser
https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/background/5moments/en/
In studies, washing hands with soap and water for 15 seconds (about the time it takes to sing one chorus of “Happy Birthday to You”) reduces bacterial counts by about 90%. When another 15 seconds is added, bacterial counts drop by close to 99.9%.
https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/The_handiwork_of_good_health

Posters
https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/promotional-material-coronavirus-disease-covid-19

Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195670120300463

Australia-specific

Australia – Victorian Department of Health COVID-19 health alerts
https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/about/news-and-events/healthalerts/2019-Coronavirus-disease–COVID-19

Australian Government Department of Health
COVID-19 resources
https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-resources
COVID-19 health alerts
https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

General health advice
https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19

SmartTraveller – COVID-19 Advice
https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/COVID-19-australian-travellers

Information about international outbound travel insurance and cancellation, etc.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/many-international-flights-won-t-be-refunded-despite-new-travel-advice-20200313-p549xn.html?fbclid=IwAR3_ls2DlzGKHjAS33dVx8Gpq166sOwsKmoH_so6zjSF4X9F18ITZtBZ61c (the situation has changed now as the Australian Government Travel Advisory has been lifted to Level 4 – check what your airline is offering by way of refunds or credits or flight changes).

USA-specific

USA CDC
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html

USA CDC – Get Your Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events Ready
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.html

USA CDC – Resources for Large Community Events & Mass Gatherings Before and During an Outbreak
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/index.html

USA CDC – FAQs for Event Organisers and Individuals
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/event-planners-and-attendees-faq.html

USA CDC – Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community-mitigation-strategy.pdf

USA CNN – State by State breakdown
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/03/health/us-coronavirus-cases-state-by-state/index.html

SmartTraveller – Advice re USA
https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/americas/united-states-america

Time Magazine – Here’s how fast the virus could infect over 1 million Americans
https://time.com/5801726/coronavirus-models-forecast/

Atlanta Magazine – Coronavirus cancels Atlanta
https://www.atlantamagazine.com/news-culture-articles/coronavirus-cancels-atlanta/

Other

AsMA Announcements
https://www.asma.org/news-events/announcements

Featuring Mars Society Australia

MSA Goals:

Mars is within reach.  The fourth planet from the sun, the Red Planet, is a potential new frontier for humanity. It is the nearest body in the Solar System known to possess all the mineral resources necessary to sustain a permanent human presence.  It has landscapes billions of years old that can shed light on the early history of the Earth and the Solar System. Understanding of its climatic history will help scientists understand the operation of the Earth’s climate. Mars is the next most likely place in the Solar System where life may once or may still exist, the discovery of which would offer deep insights into the origins of life and the biological sciences.

In the last decade, major strides toward feasible, affordable human missions have been made and the question is no longer, “Can humans go?” but “When will humans go?”

  1. Broad public outreach to instil the vision of pioneering Mars.
  2. Support of more aggressive government funded Mars exploration programs around the world.
  3. Conducting Mars exploration on a private basis.
  4. Encourage Australian participation in planetary sciences and engineering in education, industry and government.

The MSA is undertaking comparative research and testing surface exploration strategies and technologies in renowned Mars analogue locations. Our vision is to position Australia for participation in the eventual establishment of a human presence on Mars, and to make Mars more real as a place for people everywhere.

Joining MSA

Various types of membership are available:

TypeNewRenewing
RegularA$115A$70
FamilyA$125A$80
StudentA$90A$40
SeniorA$90A$40
ContributingA$165A$120
(As at 24 January 2020)

Membership of Mars Society Australia offers the following benefits:

  • For new members, all have the option of the following as joining gifts:
    • The latest copy of Dr Robert Zubrin’s book “The Case For Mars”, initialled by Dr. Zubrin, or
    • A copy of Guy Murphy’s book, “Mars, A Survival Guide”.
  • A reduced ticket price for AMEC (Australian Mars Exploration Conference).
  • Opportunities to meet with other MSA members at regular branch events and online..
  • Opportunities to participate in MSA activities such as Spaceward Bound Australia expeditions, and projects such as the Starchaser Rover, MarsSkin and Mars-Oz Habitat.
  • The knowledge that you’re supporting Australia’s most pro-active and well-respected space advocacy group.

MSA has branches all around Australia, and there is a wealth of information about events, resources, research and education on the MSA website: https://www.marssociety.org.au/.

Featuring the Australasian Society of Aerospace Medicine (ASAM)

The aims of ASAM are:

  • To cultivate and promote aviation medicine and related sciences;
  • To provide an authoritative body of opinion on matters of aviation medical significance; and
  • To increase the awareness of the aviation industry, government, and the general public of the importance of aviation medicine to flight safety.

Membership of ASAM is open to individuals and organisations. Students are welcome. Current membership fees (as at 24 January 2020) are:
Membership Fees
Full Membership – $143
Associate Membership – $143
Student Membership – $66

ASAM publishes a refereed journal (JASAM) on a half-yearly basis. It welcomes any contributions such as short cases, copies of papers presented at ASAM meetings, interesting photographs of our members in action or items of general interest to practitioners of aviation medicine. Send them by e-mail to the Editor.

The Editor of JASAM is:
Dr David Fitzgerald
Email: editor@asam.org.au

JASAM is now published online at https://www.exeley.com/journal/journal_australiasian_society_aerospace_medicine

ASAM also offers a number of awards, prizes, research grants and scholarships for students. For more information see: https://www.asam.org.au/asam-awards-prizes-grants.

A great deal more information is available on ASAM’s website: https://www.asam.org.au/.

Welcome to our new ‘beta’ website

Welcome to the new ‘beta’ website for the ad astra vita project!

We are hoping that this exciting new initiative provides an opportunity for the whole Australian space life sciences community to participate and “advertise its wares” to the world. We also hope that this will result in increased linkages and collaborations, and consultancy opportunities for those who are keen “to get a foot in the door”.

This is your resource, so please get involved! We would love to hear from people and organisations who are interested in being listed in the Showcase compendium or who would like to join the consultancy team, and if you have a “medicine in extreme environments” link or resource that you would like to share, please let us know!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Dr Rowena Christiansen, founder of the ad astra vita project