Human progress is in space exploration
‘Quod Invenias Explorans Spatium Progressus Est Humanitatis’
The Andy Thomas
Our mission is to promote social well-being and overcome disadvantage in Australia and to advocate in favour of space as a domain for international cooperation and peaceful co-existence. We will achieve our mission by supporting the outreach and education goals of the Australian Space Agency and by acting as an interface between the space community and the public. This will involve building a culture of entrepreneurship and igniting a curiosity for space and related scientific activities among young Australians.
Our purpose is to achieve our mission through the following three interconnected goals:
- Advancing Space Education – Making STEM literacy for all students an educational priority.
- Raising Space Awareness – Making connections between space science and technologies and our everyday lives.
- Contributing to the national space community – Through events and other education initiatives
Dr Andrew Thomas AO – Founding Patron
The Foundation was launched on 20th November 2020. We received the following messages of congratulations.
Dr Andrew Thomas AO
Hon. Steven Marshall MP
Premier of South Australia
Dr Megan Clark AC
Head, Australian Space Agency
Nicola Sasanelli – CEO
Adjunct Professor Nicola Sasanelli AM
Nicola graduated from the University of Bari, Italy in 1987 with a degree in Electronic Engineering. He went on to work as a researcher in microelectronics high-reliability components at Tecnopolis S&T Research Centre, Bari before being appointed as Scientific Attaché at the Embassy of Italy in Canberra from 2001 to 2008.
In 2009, Nicola joined the South Australian Government as a Special Envoy for higher education research and technology transfer to Europe with the Department of Premier and Cabinet and later joined the Department of State Development as Director for International R&D Collaborations.
From 2003 to 2013 he was appointed as Adjunct Professor of Science and Technology at the University of Canberra, Australia, and in 2007 he became an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia.
In 2016 Nicola joined Defence SA (South Australian Government) as Director of the Space Industry and R&D Collaborations project.
In September 2017 the South Australian Space Industry Centre was created, with Nicola as Director. His focus was to support space industry growth and increase international R&D collaborations in South Australia’s space sector.
In 2018 Nicola was appointed Adjunct Professor at the University of South Australia – Division of Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment and he was appointed on the board of the Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA). In the same year he was also appointed to the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic by the Italian Government for ‘promoting high-tech industry and R&D collaborations between Italy and Australia’.
In 2019 Nicola joined SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre as Director of Communication and Outreach, becoming Senior Advisor of South Australian Space Industry Centre and in 2020 Nicola founded and become the CEO of the Andy Thomas Space Foundation.
Nicola’s main passion, outside of his interest in space, is painting.
Inspiring the next generation of space leaders
The Andy Thomas
Major institutions, corporations, SME’s, other philanthropic foundations and private individuals can all contribute to and assist our mission.
Your support can take the form of:
- Annual Sponsorships
- Collaborative internship programs at secondary and tertiary level
- Funding for in-school space education programs
- In-kind and volunteer support
The Foundation is committed to promoting and supporting the highest quality space activities in Australia to drive progress in education, research and innovation to ensure that the space sector is a key contributor to Australia’s economic transformation.