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64th Int'l Astronautical Congress to Open in Beijing
SOURCE: International Astronautical Federation     UPDATED: 2013-09-25

BEIJING, Sept. 20 (International Astronautical Federation) — The International Astronautical Congress, organized jointly by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), the International Institute for Space Law (IISL) and the Chinese Society of Astronautics (CSA), will open on Monday 23 September in Beijing.

This year’s congress theme is “Promoting Space Development for the Benefit of Mankind”, and will focus on the development potential of space technologies. More than 3000 participants are expected to attend.

Amongst these attendees will be notable figures from the space world, such as academic and industry leaders, who will share their experiences. The leaders of space agencies from the United States, Russia, China, Japan, Europe, Canada and India will also be present.

The Technical Programme features a record-breaking number of symposia, with keynote speakers from NASA, CalTech and the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), amongst others.

The plenary lectures underscore the Congress’s development theme, looking at space observation of ‘Droughts, Desertification and Floods’, and Space Solar Power, alongside exciting news on China’s space developments.

The IAC will also feature the presentation of numerous IAF awards, including the inaugural IAF World Space Award to Voyager pioneer Dr Ed Stone, the Allan D. Emil Memorial Award which will be presented to Dr MA Xingrui, and the Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal. There will also be the presentation of awards to younger attendees; the Luigi G. Napolitano Award, the Young Space Leaders Recognition Programme and Emerging Space Leaders grants.

The youth focus to the IAC remains strong as ever, and a packed pre-Congress programme beginning today, 20 September, features a Young Professionals and Educator’s Professional Development workshop.

Co-organisers the IAA will host their annual Academy Day, in addition to the IISL’s moot court law competition, and the pre-congress programme will be complemented by a joint UN-IAF workshop, on the theme of “Space Technology for Economic Development”.

The IAC’s Global Networking Forum (GNF), inaugurated last year in Naples, promotes collaboration between small & medium-sized enterprises, R&D institutions, universities and larger organisations. This year the networking event will feature Q&As, regionally-focussed discussions and a Heads of Agencies press conference.

Finally a Space Exhibition will also take place throughout the week, featuring nearly 80 organisations from six continents, including national space agencies and specialized technology firms. Various organisations will hold cocktails and presentations of their work throughout the week.