AstrobiologyOU Space and Sustainability Workshop

28 March 2020 canceled
FFG, Sensengasse 1, 1090 Vienna

A lively policy workshop focusing on key aspects of space and sustainability.
(PLEASE NOTE: Due to the current situation caused by the Corona virus, this event is cancelled.)


Open University's AstrobiologyOU is a multidisciplinary research group that address the scientific, governance and ethical challenges faced by astrobiology-related exploration missions, whilst investigating the feasibility of life existing elsewhere in the Solar System.

Content Description

This workshop will focus on key aspects of space and sustainability. During the event we will discuss the ethical, legal and policy aspects of a range of topics from the Space4SDGs agenda, technological inclusivity, and the protection of the scientific value of outer space in the face of 'new space age' challenges.


Draft Programme

  • 09:30 - 10:00 Welcome Coffee/Tea
  • 10:00 - 10:30 Introduction 
  • 10:00 - 10:10 Opening Statement - Thomas Cheney, AstrobiologyOU 
  • 10:10 - 10:20 Opening Keynote – Dr. Stephan Mayer, FFG
  • 10:20 - 10:30 Overview of workshop
  • 10:30 - 13:30 Working Group Break-Out Sessions
  • 10:30 - 11:10 1st Working Group Session
  • 11:10 - 11:50 2nd Working Group Session
  • 11:50 - 12:10 Coffee/Tea Break
  • 12:10 - 12:50 3rd Working Group Session
  • 12:50 - 13:30 4th Working Group Session
  • 13:30 - 14:00 Plenary
  • 13:30 - 13:40 Closing Keynote – TBD
  • 13:40 - 14:00 Closing Statement – Thomas Cheney, AstrobiologyOU
  • 14:00 - 15:00 Buffet Lunch 

Working Group Sessions

  1. Mega Constellations and Sustainability
    Christopher D. Johnson, Space Law Advisor, Secure World Foundation
    Heidi Thiemann, PhD Researcher in Astronomy, AstrobiologyOU
  2. Space, Sustainability and Ethics
    Christopher J. Newman, Visiting Professor in Space Law, AstrobiologyOU 
  3. Sustainability and Space4SDGs
    Alessandra Marino, Senior Research Fellow, AstrobiologyOU 
  4. Planetary Protection and Sustainability
    Thomas Cheney, Lecturer in Space Governance, AstrobiologyOU

Target Audience

Those that work in the space sector or the sustainability sector. Those in Vienna to attend UN COPUOS Legal Subcommittee.

Participant Information

Free event with lunch buffet. The workshops will be conducted under the Chatham House rule, although a summary of the discussions will feed into a report so that the wider community can benefit from our work. If interested to attend please email for invitation to register. 

Contact Address

Lauren Napier, Event Manager