Sino-Russian Technical Forum 2020

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Date: 6-7 June 2020

During the first weekend of June 2020 the BIS will be holding its annual Sino-Russian Technical Forum at the Society's Headquarters in London. This Forum has been running for an amazing 40 years (previously under the title Soviet/Chinese Forum).


Celebrating 40 years 1980-2020

Four decades ago, on the evening of Friday 4 January 1980 to be precise, the inaugural BIS Technical Forum was held in the Golovine Conference Room at the Societies Headquarters in London. Forum was stated in the meeting notice as "to enable small technical groups to discuss subjects of particular interest at a suitably high level."

The evening programme of five papers was chaired by Anthony Kenden, who championed the idea of holding informal technical gatherings at the Society. These five pioneering presentations were:

  • Soyuz 1-9: A Reappraisal by Ralph F. Gibbons
  • Trends in the Soviet Photoreconnaissance Satellite Programme by Nicholas L. Johnson
  • The Significance of Salyut 6 by Michael J. Richardson 
  • Visual Observations of Russian Spacecraft by David G. Hawkins, and
  • The Type-G Launch Vehicle - Phoenix or Dinosaur? by Phillip Clark

Anthony had envisaged a variety of topics to be covered in these Forums, but right from the start the popularity of discussing the latest trends in the Soviet (now Russian) programme enthralled the audience and has remained the regular theme for the next 40 years. More recent Forums have regularly included papers on space activities in China, presentations on the Indian and other elusive space programmes. Notable guests who have spoken at past Forums have included Helen Sharman, several Russian cosmonauts and South African Space Flight Participant Mark Shuttleworth.

This year the Society is hosting the 40th anniversary meeting at its Headquarters building in London across the week-end of June 5-7 and is accepting proposals for papers to be presented at the 41st Forum.  Coordinated once again by Dave Shayler, this informal and friendly gathering remains the most popular event in the Societies calendar and new attendees are always welcome and encouraged. Further details will be posted by the Society as the programme develops but, subject to confirmation, speakers this year include:

o Phil Clark - 40 years of the Forum
o Brian Harvey - Following the Yuanwang fleet
o Bart Hendrickx - [Paper to be confirmed]
o Andrew Knight - Salyut 6 The 1st 6 months
o Phil Mills - [Paper to be confirmed]
o Andrew Thomas - Middle East space programmes
o Bert Vis - Chinese sea survival training 






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