The International Astronautical Congress (IAC), the biggest international space congress in the world, will open on Monday 23 September in Beijing, China. IAC is 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).

Below, the IAF’s press release.

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

Image caption: IAC’s logo (Credits: IAC).

About the author

Matteo Emanuelli

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Matteo Emanuelli is Feature Editor of Space Safety Magazine. He is a young professional from Italy but living in France where he works as engineer and project manager at Université de Picardie. He is member of the Space Generation Advisory Council where he is Co-Lead of the Space Safety Sustainability Project Group. Matteo also worked on a space debris removal mission at the Omsk State Technical University in Russia while he was enrolled at Politecnico di Milano.

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