IAC 2018 – The IAC of all records!

Bremen, Germany – The 69th International Astronautical Congress will from now on be remembered as the IAC of all records!

Indeed, the IAC 2018 holds the newest record of delegates attendance with more than 6.500 delegates from the record number of 83 countries registered for the whole five days of the congress. Additionally, more than 10.000 participants attended the public day on Wednesday 3 October to tune-in live to the International Space Station (ISS) for a live session with Alexander Gerst, the second ESA and first German commander of the ISS in the twenty years of its existence.

It will also be the IAC with the most loved and twitted theme ever as #InvolvingEveryone has been the real protagonist having been mentioned and brainstormed in all the events and mostly having been implemented by the huge participation of the Bremen public, largely composed of pupils from difficult neighbors. This confirms once again the true engagement of the IAF in carrying out its mission of Connecting @ll Space People.

The IAC 2018 programme was also a record itself with, alongside the usual seven Plenaries and three Highlight Lectures, the Global Networking Forum (GNF) offering the record number of 46 sessions with eight streamed and new topics and formats (arts, culture, pitch session). In addition to the Technical Programme that included the record numbers of 17 Keynotes, 179 Technical Sessions, 480 Interactive Presentations, and the newest entry, 31 Special Sessions.

Another impressive record comes from the IAF General Assembly which, at its meeting on 5 October 2018, elected Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund for the position of Incoming President. The first ever woman to represent the Federation in its role of promoting space for the benefit of humanity will assume the IAF presidency as of October 2019. Currently, Prof. Ehrenfreund is the Chair of Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and IAF Vice-President for Communications, Publications and Global Conferences.

On behalf of the Federation, IAF President, Dr. Jean-Yves Le Gall warmly acknowledged four outgoing Vice-Presidents for their outstanding contributions to the IAF, and welcomed four new Vice-Presidents: Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director General, UAE Space Agency – the first IAF Vice-President from the Middle East, Bruce Chelsea, Sr. Director, Strategy, Space & Launch, The Boeing Company, S. Somanath, Director of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Center (LPSC), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), and Minoo Rathnasabapathy, Research Engineer, Space Enabled Research Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – the first ever Young Professional to be elected IAF Vice-President.

After careful review, the IAF General Assembly also selected Paris, France as Host City for IAC 2021. The Hosting Organization is the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), a member of IAF since 1981. Paris hosted the first IAC ever in 1950, then in 1963 and lastly in 1982 and now with the IAC 2021 will be holding the record of the city with most IACs hosted!

It looks as the future is getting brighter every year for the IAC. As in fact, newly elected National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Jim Bridenstine accepted IAF President, Jean-Yves Le Gall’s challenge of reaching 10.000 delegates next year at the 70th IAC in Washington D.C.. As promised by Jean-Yves Le Gall, the IAF is doing its best to reach out to everyone and his mandate will truly be remembered for its Global Innovation Agenda 2016-2019 – where everyone must be involved no matter age, gender or origin.

For more information
Silvia Antolino, Press Manager
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