ESA at the Moscow International Air and Space Show
The Moscow International Air and Space Show (“MAKS 2003”) closed its gates on Sunday afternoon 24 August, after a very intense week.
According to preliminary statistics, a total of 700.000 visitors attended the exhibition during the three days open to the public (22-23 and 24 August 2003). A large number of trade professional visitors from several countries was also recorded.
European participation has been one of the most remarked tendencies. The ESA Chalet was one of the highlights of the Exhibition attracting many visitors each day, keen to learn more about European Space programmes, cooperation with Russia in the International Space Station, the Space Science, the launching of Soyuz from the European Space Port in Kourou in French Guyana. This was the first time for ESA to have a Chalet where conferences and meetings on European space activities with Russia were held. Major European activities, developed in cooperation with Russian partners, were presented. Questions were asked on a variety of activities, including astronauts, launchers, manned spaceflight and microgravity, telecommunications, Earth observation, navigation and space science. The strategic location of the ESA Chalet was highly appreciated, with its excellent view on the airfields where demonstration flights could be seen. Many high officials, including famous astronauts visited the ESA Chalet.
The MAKS 2003 Air and Space Show was inaugurated by Russia’s top Political Authorities, including Boris Alyoshin the Russian Vice Premier, Boris Gryzlov the Minister of Interior, Sergei Ivanov the Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu the Emergencies Minister and Ilya Klebanov the Minister of Industry, Science and Technologies. Their opening speeches emphasized growing international attendance, in particular of industrialists from Europe.
President Vladimir Putin, accompanied by officials amongst whom Mikhail Pogosyan, director general of the Sukhoi Aviation Military-Industrial Complex (AVPK) and Vladimir Mikhailov, commander in chief of the Russian Air Force made a tour of the aviation equipment on display.
Major European space firms shared pavilions where their space activities and technologies were on show accompanied by explanations on projects they are currently developing with Russia.
As is customary for this kind of event, Russian, European and US aircraft performed flight demonstrations. The crowd enthusiastically welcomed the Italian and French Acrobatic Air Patrols, for whom this was a first in Russia, with their colourful and elegant acrobatic figures in the sky.
Following the signature on 11th Feb. 2003 of the 10-Year Agreement with the Russian Federation on Cooperation and Partnership in Space, actions are underway between ESA and Rosaviakosmos to promote and support industrial initiatives of common interest. These activities are being conducted in coordination with the ESA Permanent Mission in Russia. For more information you may contact:
ESA Industrial Policy & Cost Analysis Dept.
ESA Permanent Mission in Russia
In conclusion, the Moscow Air and Space Show offered a great opportunity for an exchange of views between ESA and Rosaviakosmos on activities to be implemented in the future in various areas of space cooperation. In parallel, this International Exhibition was the occasion to meet with representatives from both European and Russian space industry.