Australia’s Apollo 11 space mission was a landmark in human spaceflight history, with the first humans to set foot on the surface of another planet.
But it also sparked an extraordinary public debate about the nature of space exploration and its ethics, and sparked a backlash against the government’s policies on human space flight.
A series of high-profile human space exploration scandals and a political backlash saw the former prime minister Julia Gillard lose her position in the Liberal Party and lose her parliamentary majority, leaving her party with a majority in parliament.
In an extraordinary speech, then-prime minister Julia Bays will tell the ABC’s Lateline about her experiences in space.
She said that the space program was her life’s work and that she had made her greatest contribution in its defence.
“The world is a place where we have to work together to achieve shared goals and achieve the best possible outcomes, and that includes exploration,” she said.
“In doing so, I have always felt an obligation to contribute to the wider community.”
She will also outline her vision for space and its impact on our society, including the role of science, technology and innovation in the future.
The ABC’s Peter Ryan reports.