InSpace Director Prof Anna Moore has always been dedicated to building Australia’s space exploration capability as an astronomer and globally-recognised space expert. Her passion for making space accessible to everyone was rewarded on Friday, 4 June at the Australian Space Awards where she was recognised as "Female Leader of the Year" for her work leading the Australian National University (ANU) multidisciplinary Institute for Space (InSpace) and the ANU Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (AITC).
In addition to establishing and leading the Institute for Space at ANU, she helps to empower a team of Mission Specialists, multidisciplinary researchers working to support ANU space initiatives and develop new opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration with the global space industry. Their areas of expertise include laser communications, bushfire prevention, Earth-observing missions, commercial space regulations, and the adoption of leapfrog technologies.
Anna has strong ties to the Australian Space Agency through membership on civil space priority committees and as a member of the Space Industries Leaders Forum. In her role as InSpace Director, she has surpassed diversity targets by creating a 75% female workforce within a highly male-dominated sector. She has helped to create opportunities for female researchers as part of the InSpace Mission Specialist team and on Technical Advisory Groups, which help shape Australia’s national space strategy.
As director of the Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (AITC) at ANU, she helped expand space testing for the space industry across Australia and New Zealand, including enabling the space community free access to the AITC’s National Space Test Facility (NSTF). This gave start-ups, SMEs, and researchers the ability to test their hardware and payloads in space-like conditions to help ensure mission success without the roadblock of pay-per-use fees. By early 2020, when COVID had shuttered much of Australian business, Anna helped the NSTF become the first facility at ANU to reopen, so it could continue to meet the high demand of space testing needs from space companies, start-ups and universities across Australia.
Her personal research has developed a “world’s first” observational technique called all-sky infrared transient astronomy with colleagues at Caltech and MIT. She has created a space situational awareness application using DREAMS to accelerate national space industry capability through collaboration with Sabre Astronautics.
We congratulate her for her strong and necessary work and for this well-deserved award!