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Spaceward Bound Expedition: Australia 2009

photo of David Cooper

David Cooper
Expedition Safety Officer & Spaceward Bound Australia Coordinator


I am the current President of the Mars Society Australia, Inc. providing administrative support for the MSA from his retail hobby centre in the suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. A Commercial Pilot and former Director and Operations Manager of a major regional airline, my interest in Aerospace and Space Exploration was borne out of a curiosity for the undiscovered and his model making activities as a child.

My other interests were building to racing specification and subsequently racing an Austin-Healy Sprite in the early 1970’s, this lead to his learning to fly. Highlights during the flying period included building several regional airline operations in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. In 1988 I soloed the Pacific Ocean in a Cessna 404, a delivery flight from San Francisco to Brisbane, Qld, and flew quite frequently in Indonesia supporting mining and tourism interests.

An early member of The Planetary Society, and Robert Zubrin’s Mars Underground becoming a member of the Mars Society, along with my family, attended the Magellan spacecraft fly-by Earth conference at Caltech in December 1990. In 2001 with several Australian members we formed the Mars Society Australia as an incorporated body. With my wife, Maureen, I co-convened the AMEC conferences in Perth in 2003 and 2007. I been involved in the construction of the MSA’s Starchaser Analog Rover in Perth, developing a Centre for Planetary and Space Science at the secondary and tertiary school level in Western Australia, and supported Mars OZ and Mars-Skin projects since their inception.  Along with the role as President, I administer MSA membership and I am CEO for the Spaceward Bound Australia Project.

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Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: April 2007
Teachers Contact: Liza Coe