May 2023 Updates and Ukraine Emergency Appeal

May 2023 has been an extraordinary month when all the stars aligned, and wonderful things have happened in recognition of our work in aerospace medicine, and space health in particular.

This includes being a finalist in the Australian Space Awards for the fourth year, taking out the “Innovator of the Year” award, a well-received presentation at the Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA) Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans, together with a further award from the Aerospace Physiology Society, and election as an AsMA Vice-President, thought to be the first Australian to hold such a role in the Executive Committee.

To read more about these and other recent developments, visit “Our Recent Activities” on the ad astra vita project website.

UNICEF Ukraine Emergency Appeal – please consider a donation to assist the Ukrainian children and families affected by the Nova Kakhovka dam disaster.

The ad astra vita project has been proud to stand with the people of Ukraine since the beginning of the current conflict, and over recent days we have been deeply saddened to hear of the humanitarian and environmental catastrophe resulting from the failure and breach of the Nova Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced without access to food, clean drinking water, or sanitation, and the World Health Organisation has identified an imminent risk of diseases such as cholera from contaminated and toxic waters. Australians are no stranger to flooding, and the consequences and risks that this brings, and it is not difficult to imagine just how devastating this disaster is for the people of Ukraine.

From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) news site:

Late last year, as part of our collaboration on the International Humans in Space Summit 2022, we established a fundraising page for the UNICEF Ukraine Emergency Appeal. All funds raised go directly to UNICEF to support its work assisting families in Ukraine. With the collapse of the dam, the need for financial assistance and the provision of basic supplies such as drinking water is even more urgent. Especially with the end of the financial year coming up soon, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the UNICEF appeal: Thank you 😊.

Australian Space Awards 2023 Finalist

The finalists have been announced today for the 2023 Australian Space Awards, and our Founder, Dr Rowena Christiansen, is deeply honoured to have been selected in three categories. It is wonderful to see so many outstanding contributors to the Australian space industry being recognised for their work by their peers. The Awards Night will take place in Sydney on 17 May 2023.

Space Health Research UK Analog Mission 2023 – Call for EoIs

From our UK colleague Myles Harris, CEO and Founder of Space Health Research:

The following calls are open for Space Health Research analogue mission 2023. The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2023. 

All information about the calls is included in the Google Form. Please note, you need to be signed into a Google account (gmail) to access the forms. The calls are now published on our website:, which includes some drone footage of the pilot analogue mission last year. 

Our website also includes a blog. Dr Rosie Baker is our blog editor and can be contacted if you would like to write a short blog article for publication. This may be to publicise your work/interests/research in space health, and you will receive full authorship credit.

Space Health Research has recently been accepted into the UK Space Agency’s business accelerator programme! UKSA and a consortium of collaborators will be working with us to make even more progress and ultimately establish regular analogue missions in the UK.

International Humans in Space Summit 2022 – two more live virtual US panels to come!

The first two days of IHS 2022 held in-person in Sydney were a tremendous success, and the buzz amongst the attendees was awesome!

The final three days of the conference will feature pre-recorded individual presentations in the featured topic areas of:

  • Cluster 1: Space Biology, Women in Space
  • Cluster 2: Space Health, Human Spaceflight
  • Cluster 3: Space Economics, Space Governance, Space STEAM.

We are also running three live virtual panels featuring our US colleagues, and although the first one happened today, for our friends who are interested in ‘space medicine’ and ‘humans in space’, we would like to throw open the opportunity to come along and join the virtual audience (details below).

US live panel 1: ‘Space Health’: 9pm EST on Tuesday November 8th (USA) = 1pm AEDT on Wednesday 9th November. (Recording will be made available on the YouTube channel.)

US live panel 2: ‘Anaesthesia During Deep Space Missions’: 6pm CST on Wednesday 9th November (USA) = 11am AEDT on Thursday 10th November.

Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android:
Meeting ID: 85985807285 and password: 180505.

US live panel 3: ‘A Human Future in Space’: 6pm EST on Thursday 10th November (USA) = 10am AEDT on Friday 11th November.

Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android:
Meeting ID: 82586047569 and password: 364070.

Registration closing soon for the International Humans in Space Summit 2022!!

IHS 2022 is coming soon, starting on Monday 07 November 2022. Don’t miss out on reserving your place, either in-person in Sydney or online.

If you are based in Sydney, Canberra, or within commuting distance, don’t miss out on snapping up your ticket for a fabulous two days of in-person presentations, panels, and networking. Online tickets are available regardless of where you are in the world (or beyond…).

Both types of registration provide access to all the conference recordings. For the two in-person days, the cost is A$40/$20 for students, and for online participation, A$20/$10 for students. For those overseas, the current low Australian dollar makes this incredible value!

IHS 2022 is a not-for-profit event organised on a voluntary basis. This year we are fundraising for UNICEF.

We hope to see you there!

Program Outline

Registration is open and FINAL ‘call for abstracts’

Registration is now open for the International Humans in Space Summit 2022 (hybrid, 7-11 November), and the final call for virtual speaker proposals/panellists is open to October 11th.

IHS 2022 Flyer

The virtual days will be 9-11 November, with pre-recorded presentations (15-20 minutes each) and live virtual panels in both Australian and US time zones. Registration is free for speakers, but even for general participants, IHS 2022 offers great value for both in-person and virtual attendance. In-person attendance (Sydney, Australia) is only A$40/$20 for students, and for virtual attendance, A$20/$10 for students. Registration guarantees access to all the conference recordings, no matter where you are. For those overseas, the A$ is worth around US$0.65 at present, so virtual attendance is around US$13/US$6.50. Thanks for considering! Website:, to register:

AWEMS ‘Stoke the Fire’ 2022 Conference – EARLYBIRD TICKETS END SOON! (Tues Sept 13th 11:59pm)

Tickets for the Australasian Wilderness and Expedition Medicine Society (AWEMS) ‘STOKE THE FIRE’ Conference, nipaluna/Hobart (and Online), 14-16th October 2022 are on sale!

Click here to buy TICKETS and view schedule . ACRRM and FAWM accreditation pending.

Join us for presentations and workshops from world-leading experts on a wide variety of topics including Antarctic medicine, documentary medicine, multi-trauma bush rescue, human psychology at altitude, expedition dentistry, U/S in austere environments, fracture management, haemorrhage control and haematoma blocks! We also have exciting evening social events for networking and a special guest presentation on how to build a career in wilderness medicine, as well as affiliated events – UTas Extreme Sports Medicine Panel, and a pre-conference POCUS workshop.

ONLINE TICKETS: Our conference is available in-person, or online. Online tickets will have access to the lectures and presentations on Saturday and Sunday, and access to recordings for at least 2 months post-conference (not including conference dinner presentation)

AWEMS aims to be the peak body for Wilderness and Expedition Medicine in Australasia. We are a volunteer-run, not-for-profit society looking to grow and improve the provision of medical care in remote and austere environments.

Be sure to become an AWEMS member for exclusive discounts – Earlybird Member tickets include a free T-shirt (student tickets excepted). 

For further and ongoing benefits (CPD education, future events, further discounts, regular updates) Click here to become a MEMBER

About the location: 

nipaluna/Hobart is a breathtakingly stunning port city in lutruwita/Tasmania, home to incredible art and music events, yacht races, and training bases for the Australian Antarctic Program (and France’s too!). The climate is cool in these parts so we hope you’re stoked to get stoking! 

We’ll see you there! 


Tha AWEMS Conference Team

‘Stoke the fire’ – 2022 AWEMS Wilderness and Expedition Medicine Conference

Don’t miss out on tickets for the 2022 AWEMS conference, coming soon from 14-16 October in Hobart, Tasmania at the UTAS Medical Science Precinct (online participation also available).


After the great success of our inaugural conference last year, we will be back again this year with another thrilling AWEMS conference. With the goal to push you out of your comfort zones and explore medicine at its most extreme, our 2022 conference will be taking place in beautiful Hobart, Tasmania from the 14th-16th October. Get ready to hear from researchers, expeditioners and other medical professionals who are renowned in their respective fields, and learn practical skills to keep you thriving in the outdoors.

Call for abstracts – International Humans in Space Summit 2022

IHS 2022

The ‘call for abstracts’ is open for the International Humans in Space Summit 2022.

Speaker proposals are invited for both pre-recorded individual presentations and participation in live panels in either Australian or US time zones.

About the Summit  

The 4th International Humans in Space Summit, previously the Australian Space Biology x Health Summit (ASBX), was established in 2019 with the vision to bring the international research and industry community together to bridge the gap between science, industry, and policy relating to the human exploration of space. Due to the pandemic, the Summit was held online in 2020 and 2021.

This year, the 4th International Humans in Space Summit will run from 7-11 November. It will be hybrid, with the first two days in-person in Sydney, and the remaining three days as online virtual sessions. These sessions will include a mixture of pre-recorded presentations and live panels in both Australian and US time zones. There is a broad range of session topics, and, as a result, the Summit will be a diverse and inclusive event. Session recordings will be available to all registrants via the Summit YouTube channel.

Preliminary Program

  • DAY 1: Monday 7 November – In-person event at UTS, Sydney. Summit launch and Plenary Speakers.
  • DAY 2: Tuesday 8 November – In-person event at UTS, Sydney. Space Research and Space Careers Fair.
  • Global virtual sessions (panels will be time-zone adjusted to allow international participation):
    • DAY 3 – Wednesday 9 November:
      • Space Biology
      • Space Health
      • Lunar Biology
      • Astrobiology & Life Beyond
    • DAY 4 – Thursday 10 November:
      • Human Spaceflight
      • Women in Space
      • Space Technologies
    • DAY 5 – Friday 11 November:
      • Space Economics
      • Space Governance
      • Space STEAM Education
    • Student presentations (scheduling TBA).

Founders of the Summit  

Dr Joshua Chou, University of Technology Sydney  
Dr Christine Mehner, Mayo Clinic (USA)
Dr Rowena Christiansen, the University of Melbourne   

Who else will be there  

In 2021, we welcomed over 1,000 attendees from around the globe, and over 120 speakers and panellists. This year, we expect to hear from a wide range of local and international agencies and experts, including NASA, ESA, JAXA, ASA, Government officials, research institutions and academics, educators, and industry delegates.

How to get involved

Important dates

  • Closing date for proposals for speakers and panellists: Tuesday 11 October 2022
  • Registrations close for speakers/panellists: Monday 31 October 2022
  • Submission of pre-recorded presentations no later than: Tuesday 01 November 2022.

Fundraising for the UNICEF Ukraine Emergency Appeal

The ad astra vita project in conjunction with the International Humans in Space Summit 2022 is proud to be supporting fundraising for the UNICEF Ukraine Emergency Appeal.

Donations of A$2 or more are tax-deductible for Australian tax purposes. To donate, please visit:

Why are we fundraising for UNICEF and Ukraine? Part of our mutual vision is to support STEAM education and children and young people who are seeking a better future and dare to dream. Although there are many humanitarian emergencies going on all over the world, all very worthy of support, over the past six months in Ukraine we have seen unimaginable horrors which have destroyed the lives of many adults, families, and children, and taken away their dreams. If we can do even just a little to help them through this difficult time until the war is over and they can dare to dream again, then it is worthwhile.

Read here about children recently returning to school in Ukraine, and how UNICEF has helped:


Life for 7.5 million children caught up in the crisis in Ukraine is deteriorating by the minute. Children have been killed. Children have been wounded.

The fighting has impacted schools, hospitals and orphanages. Homes have been damaged or destroyed. Medical supplies are running low and millions of people are without access to safe water.

More than 4.3 million children have been forced to flee their homes. 1.8 million have become refugees, searching for safety in neighbouring countries.

UNICEF is trucking safe water and prepositioning health, hygiene and emergency education supplies to the most vulnerable children and families.

UNICEF has been in Ukraine for 25 years. Its teams are working day and night to scale up support.

War in Ukraine: Support for children and families

Six months of war have been devastating for Ukraine’s families. UNICEF and partners are on the ground providing support for those in need.

Six months into the war, humanitarian needs are continuing to multiply as the fighting continues. Children continue to be killed, wounded and deeply traumatized by the violence all around them. Many have seen things no child should ever see. Their homes have been hit. Their schools have been attacked, along with all the systems that could help them survive. Families are terrified, in shock, and desperate for safety.

By early August, almost 6.4 million individual refugees from Ukraine had been recorded across Europe. By late July, the International Organization for Migration estimated there were around 6.6 million people internally displaced in Ukraine. The large-scale displacement of people since the war started could have lasting consequences for generations to come. Children fleeing war in Ukraine are also at heightened risk of human trafficking and exploitation

Meanwhile, attacks using explosive weapons in populated urban areas continue to inflict civilian casualties including among children, and considerable damage to essential infrastructure and services. As a result, children’s homes, schools, hospitals, water systems, power plants, and places where civilians are seeking shelter have been damaged or destroyed.

UNICEF is working with partners to reach vulnerable children and families with essential services â€“ including health, education, protection, water and sanitation â€“ as well as life-saving supplies.

How is UNICEF helping children and families?

UNICEF is working around the clock with partners to scale up life-saving programmes for children.

Inside Ukraine, UNICEF and partners have:

  • Distributed life-saving health and medical supplies to reach around 3.9 million children and families.
  • Reached around 420,000 individuals with multi-purpose cash assistance.
  • Helped more than 3.4 million people access safe water in areas where networks have been damaged or destroyed.
  • Helped more than 270,000 children through the provision of learning supplies.
  • Reached over 1.4 million children and caregivers with mental health and psychosocial support.
  • Assisted around 63,000 children through case management and referral services.

In countries hosting Ukrainian refugees, UNICEF has:

  • Supported national, municipal and local systems that deliver essential services and protection, particularly for the most vulnerable children, including through: anti-trafficking training for border guards; expanding learning opportunities and integrating refugee children into schools; procuring vaccines and medical supplies; and establishing play and learning hubs that provide young children with a much-needed sense of normalcy and respite.
  • Been working with local governments to conduct summer programmes in preparation for the start of the new school year in September.
  • Worked with UNHCR and partners to activate Blue Dot hubs â€“ one-stop safe spaces for children and women. Blue Dots provide key information to traveling families, help to identify unaccompanied and separated children and ensure their protection.

UNICEF Ukraine response: For more on the situation visit UNICEF Ukraine and UNICEF in Europe and Central Asia.

Thank you in advance for your support.