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 – including health, education, protection, water and sanitation – 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 – 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. 

SANS – Space Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome

We are pleased to bring you a further blog post from our special guest editor, Philip Vukovic – BSc (Melb). Many thanks to Philip for this very informative article.

With prospects of a long-duration spaceflight mission to Mars, it is of vital importance that appropriate countermeasures are developed to prevent Space Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome (SANS) during spaceflight, and establish if astronauts may develop any long-term health effects.

Photo by Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash
What is Space Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome (SANS)?

Space Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome refers to the changes that occur to the eye and brain during spaceflight. Having first been discovered in 2005, SANS showed similar signs to idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). However, despite some of the similarities between the two, interesting differences were noted, ultimately leading to the distinction.

What is causing SANS?

Current scientific findings suggest that SANS occurs due to the shifting of fluid towards the head as astronauts are exposed to environments of microgravity. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) states that exposure to weightlessness results in an upward redistribution of fluid around the brain and a shift of blood from veins toward the head. These physiological changes are currently believed to be the underlying cause surrounding the structural changes seen in the eye and brain. It is important to note however, that SANS is still being intensely studied by NASA (and others), and a single unifying predominant mechanism has yet to be proven.

Changes to the brain and eye

Various physiological and pathological neuro-ophthalmic (brain-eye) changes have been found in astronauts during and following long-duration spaceflight. Some of the structural changes to the brain include ventricular volume enlargement, an upward shift of the brain and pituitary gland shape changes. It has also been documented that astronauts may experience swelling of the nerve as it enters the eye, the development of folds in the retina, flattening of the back of the eye and blurry vision.

The problems associated with SANS and how we can prevent it

NASA has identified a SANS incidence rate of approximately 70% for astronauts travelling to the International Space Station. Due to this high incidence rate, researchers are currently studying ways to prevent and treat SANS during spaceflight, and establish if astronauts may develop any long-term health effects.

SANS poses major problems for long-duration missions. The structural changes that occur to the brain and eye during spaceflight may lead to short-term or long-term alterations in vision, cognitive effects, or other deleterious health effects. As crew will undoubtedly be tasked with carrying out their own cognitively demanding scientific research, vehicle operation and maintenance, and other activities, it is imperative that we develop effective means by which we can mitigate the operational and long-term risks of SANS.

Mader et al. (2011) described the historical, clinical, and imaging findings in seven astronauts after six months of long-duration space flight, and recorded the changes in vision of approximately 300 additional astronauts. The ophthalmic findings included optic disc oedema (n=5), global flattening (n=5), choroidal folds (n=5), nerve fibre layer infarcts (n=3), thickening within the nerve fibre layer on optical coherence tomography (n=6), and decreased near vision (n=6).

With the underlying predominant mechanism yet to be determined, effective treatments for the known problems associated with SANS have not been established. With future manned missions to the International Space Station, Moon, and Mars, specific countermeasures will need to be developed in order to ensure operational success and crew safety.

Further Reading and Information

Lee, A. G., Mader, T. H., Gibson, C. R., Tarver, W., Rabiei, P., Riascos, R. F., … & Brunstetter, T. (2020). Spaceflight associated neuro-ocular syndrome (SANS) and the neuro-ophthalmologic effects of microgravity: a review and an update. npj Microgravity, 6(1), 1-10.
Mader, T. H., Gibson, C. R., Pass, A. F., Kramer, L. A., Lee, A. G., Fogarty, J., … & Polk, J. D. (2011). Optic disc edema, globe flattening, choroidal folds, and hyperopic shifts observed in astronauts after long-duration space flight. Ophthalmology, 118(10), 2058-2069.
Risk of Spaceflight Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome (SANS) (
NASA – Space Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome Infographic (

The Jus Ad Astra Project – human rights in space

We are delighted to share the latest newsletter from the Jus Ad Astra Project regarding human rights in space, and a link to a recent article about the Project. As well as the rights to water, a breathable atmosphere, and a habitable environment, the ‘right to health’ is also an important human right, as humans cannot ‘survive and thrive’ in space if they do not have the right conditions for good health and wellbeing.

It was an honour to contribute to the blog post on “Space for all Humankind: Gendered Perspectives in Health” with Jane Andrews.

Jus Ad Astra Newsletter:
June 2022
WELCOME! Welcome to the June edition of the newsletter for Jus Ad Astra! In this newsletter, we will provide updates on the project and ways for members to contribute to its work.

1. Alyson Decker’s article “Working in Space: The Final Frontier of Remote Work” is published in the Northern Illinois University Law Review 

The article discusses the rise of remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and its implications for employment in outer space. The piece explores the complex employment relationships in Earth and their application in outer space. 

Check it out here: Working in Space: The Final Frontier of Remote Work

2. Justin Diamond’s published a blog piece, “New Norms in Outer Space: Washington’s Direct Dissent from Direct Ascent”

The article explores the DA-ASAT moratorium by the United States, and its broader implication for human rights. 

Check it out here: New Norms in Outer Space: Washington’s Direct Dissent from Direct Ascent

3. Dr Rowena Christiansen and Jane Andrews have authored a blog piece on “Space for all Humankind: Gendered Perspectives in Health”

The article analyses the need to incorporate gendered perspectives in health, including the physiological differences between the sexes, to further equality in outer space. 

Check it out here: Space for all Humankind: Gendered Perspectives in Health

Lawyers without Borders – Human Rights in Outer Space: The Jus Ad Astra Project

Earth Day 2022

Tomorrow, NASA joins the worldwide Earth Day celebration with resources and events to inspire us to be better stewards of our planet.

Next Gen STEM Earth Toolkit

Bring the STEM celebration to the classroom with this toolkit filled with NASA Earth science resources. For even more, check out Earth Day resources from the team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Earth Day 2022 Poster and Virtual Backgrounds

Decorate your space with this year’s poster illustrating how Earth’s systems are connected. The poster features QR codes linking to NASA’s Earth science mission websites.

Be a #NASAEarthling

Connect with NASA online by sharing photos on social media that show off what makes life on our planet truly special – you!

Earth Day 2022