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Australian-French Space grant

The Australian-French Space Research Collaboration Initiative 2024 was launched by the Embassy of France to Australia, Australia’s national science agency CSIRO, and the Australian Space Agency, in collaboration with AFRA, to support cooperative research activities in space science and technologies between Australia and


The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has been awarded 23,900 AUD for the “Mars Sample Return Ideation Workshop” led by A/Prof David Flannery in collaboration with Dr Nicolas Mangold, from Observatoire Sciences de l’Univers, Nantes Atlantique (OSUNA), CNRS & Nantes Université.

This project will foster the exchange of Australian and French senior academics and early career researchers, who will collect samples on specific Australian sites to examine the mineralogy, sedimentology and geobiology of environments resembling key exploration targets on Mars. Samples collected will be used to improve the calibration of sensors currently operating on Mars missions and to inform the selection of samples on the planet and the design of next-generation sensors. The field experiment will be followed by a 2-days workshop where participants will scope potential bilateral collaboration opportunities in planetary science missions planned by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).


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