More than 30 members of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other countries took part in the day-long event held 24 April at ESOC, ESA's European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany.
The keynote presentation was given by Prof. Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Chairman of the Board of DLR, the German Aerospace Center, who briefed participants on the results of ESA's Ministerial Council held in November 2008.
Follow-on presentations were given by ESA's Michael Schmidt, Spacecraft Operations Manager for Integral, who briefed the guests on current mission operation highlights, and Dr Heiner Klinkrad, Head of the ESA Space Debris Office, who spoke on recent debris activities at ESA including the results of the 5th European Conference on Space Debris, held earlier this month at ESOC.
In addition, participants were guided on a tour of the spacecraft control facilities at ESOC.
About the IAA
The IAA brings together the world's foremost experts in the disciplines of astronautics on a regular basis to recognise the accomplishments of their peers, to explore and discuss cutting-edge issues in space research and technology and to provide direction and guidance in the non-military uses of space and the ongoing exploration of the solar system.
The purposes of the IAA are:
- To foster the development of astronautics for peaceful purposes
- To recognise individuals who have distinguished themselves in a branch of science or technology related to astronautics
- To provide a program through which the membership can contribute to international endeavours and cooperation in the advancement of aerospace science, in cooperation with national science or engineering academies.
Founded in Stockholm, Sweden, in August 1960, the IAA was recognised as an independent non-governmental organisation by the United Nations 1996. The current President is Prof. Edward C. Stone, USA; Past-President Dr Michael Yarymovych, USA; vice-Presidents: Dr Claudie Haignere, France, Dr Madhavan G. Nair, India, Dr Hiroki Matsuo, Japan, and Dr Stanislav N. Konyukhov, Ukraine. The Secretary General is Dr Jean-Michel Contant, France.