Australia’s First Female Astronaut Will Be At SXSW Sydney

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Katherine Bennell-Pegg, Australia’s newest astronaut — who completed her training in Germany just two weeks ago — will be a speaker at SXSW Sydney in October this year.

Bennell-Pegg, 39, who grew up on Sydney’s northern beaches, was invited by the European Space Agency (ESA) to train as an astronaut in Germany, becoming the first international candidate to achieve this feat, according to the Australian Space Agency (ASA).

She’s also the first astronaut to train under the Australian flag.

“When I dreamed of becoming an astronaut as a child, I never thought it possible to do so representing Australia. It’s an honour to be graduating as an astronaut with the Australian flag on my shoulder,” Bennell-Pegg told ASA in April. 

Bennell-Pegg’s road to qualifying as an astronaut wasn’t easy. ASA notes that she was given survival and medical training, and taught about engineering, robotics, conducting biotech and medical science experiments and dealing with “intense G-force of space flights” via centrifuge training. 

Having completed her training Bennell-Pegg is eligible for future missions to the International Space Station (ISS).

Katherine Bennell-Pegg. Source

After a successful 2023 run, SXSW Sydney will be returning to the vibrant city in October with an impressive lineup of thought leaders, speakers and performers across tech, music, screen, gaming and culture.

Speakers include futurist Ryan Patel, Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, and IBM’s VP of Product – AI Platform, Armand Ruiz.

More information about SXSW Sydney here

Image: Supplied, SXSW Sydney