On October 20, the 7th International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS) Conference kicks off in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The three-day conference, entitled “Space Safety Is No Accident,” features speakers from around the world, come to exchange information and promote mutual understanding on space safety topics of general international concern.

Today’s space is a changing space. New nations are developing advanced space capabilities and new companies are near to achieving both suborbital and orbital commercial crewed flight. Robotic capabilities are advancing by leaps and bounds as international collaboration on space missions becomes the norm, not the exception.  Space-bound systems are sharing an ever-more crowded airspace with aviation, which is becoming more reliant on space-based services. Nations of the world are coming to recognize that space debris and the hazards its poses to orbital systems must be mitigated to ensure their future space access.

IAASS Conference 2014Against this backdrop, “Space Safety Is No Accident” brings a slate of sessions, panels, and keynotes examining everything from risk management and safety culture to nuclear safety and space weather hazards. Specific panels of note include Possible Suborbital Regulatory Regimes, New Global Initiative for Planetary Defence, and Collision Risk Avoidance at Launch.

Featured keynote speakers at the conference include Italian Space Agency President Roberto Battison, JAXA Technical Counselor and Former UNCOPUOS Chair Yasushi Horikawa, CNES Toulouse Center Deputy Director Lionel Suchet, and a number of high-ranking space safety officers including Gerald Braun, Maj. Gen. Kurt Neubauer, Michael P. Fodroci, and Michael Lutomski.

The 7th IAASS Conference is also a forum to recognize notable actors in space safety. This year’s Vladimir Syromiatnikov Safety-by-Design award will be received at the conference gala by Michael Lutomski on behalf of SpaceX. SpaceX is being recognized for being the first  commercial space company to achieve safety certification of its Dragon vehicle in accordance with NASA and FAA rules, successfully performing multiple resupply missions to the International Space Station, and pursuing innovative design solutions for its new Dragon V2 vehicle to enhance crew safety during safety-critical mission phases.

To learn more about the conference and the work IAASS performs in support of space safety development, visit iaass.space-safety.org.