With the theme “Our world need space”, the congress gathered over 3000 participants from space agencies, academia, companies and government from over 70 countries.
The congress kicked-off the past Monday with an open ceremony hosted by the Canadian astronauts David St-Jacques and Jeremy Hansen. This year the recipient of the prestigious Alan D. Emil Memorial Award was Dr K. Radhakrishnan, the chairman of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) for his outstanding contribution to space science.
The Heads of Agencies panel, one of the major events of the IAC, followed the ceremony. This year, multiple Chinese and Russian delegates were not able to obtain visas to attend the congress. The leaders discussed the accomplishments and future plans of their respective agencies emphasizing the importance of international cooperation in space exploration. The following statements were made:
- The heads of JAXA, CSA, ESA declared that their governments may not make decisions until 2016 on whether they will continue joining the ISS program after 2020.
- ESA’s general director Jean-Jacques Dordain highlighted that the challenge in space projects “is not to put the future too far away” to capture the interest of both industry and young professionals.
- Charles Bolden did not make any declaration when asked about the recent announcement of the private companies selected for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
The IAC included several symposia covering a wide range of space-related topics. In addition, this year the IAC exhibition counted over 70 booths and 160 companies that presented their projects throughout the week. Once again, Kosmonauta.net was the only commercial representative of Poland in this distinguished event. The majority of companies present corresponded to the U.S. and Canada, for example MDA Corporation, Lockheed Martin or Boeing. One of the most popular booths was the one of SpaceX with a Dragon v2 mockup, where participants were able to try out the new seats.
Several announcements were made during the congress.
- Sierra Nevada Corporation unveiled its new plan for Dream Chaser after the recent CctCAP selection. The company declared that it will offer start to cooperate with Stratolaunch Systems. The Dream Chaser will be adapted to a smaller configuration
- New images and data from Rosetta mission were announced at a special science session hosted by experts from the European Space Agency
- Adelaide was announced as the host city for the IAC 2017, to the disappointment of Bremen
- Commander Chris Hadfield was granted with the Hubert Curien Award for his outstanding efforts to bridge space and society by the Eurisy Association
The IAC 2014 was held from the 29th of September to the 3th of October in Toronto, Canada. This time it was one of the biggest IAC editions in the recent years due to the geographical proximity to the American space sector as well as due to the considerable interest on this conference in Europe.