The 71st International Astronautical Congress (#IAC2020) ‘CyberSpace Edition’ will take place on 12-14 October, and ESA will be one of the main sponsors of this major digital event, to support this important annual gathering of the space community.
Founded in 1951, the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) is the world’s leading space advocacy body with 397 members in 69 countries, including all leading space agencies, industries, research institutions, universities, societies, associations, institutes and museums worldwide. Every year, the International Astronautical Congress is organised by the IAF and its associates.
This year, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected the planned activities for 2020, but the IAF remains flexible and innovative. For organisations such as ESA and space professionals in general, the IAF congresses are excellent opportunities to share the latest information on current and future space projects and programmes and related technologies.
The IAF has devised new ways to keep participants engaged and connected. Now, more than ever, the IAF understands the importance of a strong supportive community and, together with ESA, they are committed to ensure that every participant should feel a part of it.
ESA will be present at the event with speakers in different sessions, beginning with Director General Jan Wörner joining the Opening Day’s Heads of Agency plenary event. We will also be hosting a virtual customised ESA exhibition booth, with an interactive tool to connect with visitors.
ESA’s messages reinforce the IAC’s own themes for this year. The first is that the world is grappling with the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and we face a massive challenge in facilitating connections in the space community.
With businesses analysing ways to prepare their responses to the post-COVID situation and increase their resilience, we’ll be highlighting how ESA and its Member States can provide support in many sectors, making use of the different advantages provided by space-based products and services.
The second theme is that Europe is going to the Moon, and that we are going together with NASA and other international partners. ESA is already deeply involved in preparing to build a sustainable presence beyond Earth orbit.
At Wednesday’s IAF Global Networking Forum event, Jan Wörner will join NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and speakers from industry, including Airbus, Thales Alenia Space, SSTL and Leonardo, to talk about these exciting developments.
Organised with IAF partners, the International Academy of Astronautics, the International Institute of Space Law and the Space Generation Advisory Council, the CyberSpace Edition encompasses most of the traditional IAC features.