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Sydney to host 2020 "Space Olympics"

AAP logoAAP 9/11/2016 Rebecca Chirichiello

Sydney will play host to thousands of astronauts and space researchers after winning the bid for the largest international space event, nicknamed the "Space Olympics", in 2020.

Australia beat out bids from China, Spain, Switzerland and the Czech Republic to secure the hosting rights for the Scientific Assembly of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR).

Up to three thousand experts are set to attend the conference, which will be held at the new $1 billion conference centre in Darling Harbour, NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said.

This will be the second major global space event that Australia will host in the next four years, sending hopes rocketing that Australia will one day have its own space agency.

"All these activities in Australia should help reverse the brain drain in space science - these events are laying the seeds of an Australian space agency," space researcher Professor Russell Boyce told Fairfax.

Australia's Chief Scientist Alan Finkel said the win helped build the country's international space presence.

"We come to the table with a bold vision for our nation's place in science - and through science, our place in space," Dr Finkel said.

New Zealand got its own space agency in July this year.

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