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N° 21–2010: ESA media opportunities at world’s premier space congress

21 September 2010

The International Astronautical Congress will open in Prague on 27 September. Joining the world’s major space players, ESA will participate with experts in a rich and varied programme.

Under the theme ‘Space for Human Benefit and Exploration,’ the 61st International Astronautical Congress (IAC) will be held in the Czech Republic from 27 September to 1 October.

The IAC is the world's premier international space gathering, with around 3000 high-level delegates and decision-makers from space agencies, industry, and academia.

ESA has a key role in the plenary sessions. Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain will, together with the other heads of agencies, present ESA’s programme and vision during the first session. During the second plenary, he will discuss with the leading heads of industry the impact of government policy on the space business.

Other prominent ESA presenters will participate in later plenary sessions, covering space navigation, space operations and global exploration.

The IAC’s numerous forums include the novel Cluster Forum, which will bring together the various organisations and industries devoted to space.

ESA’s Office of Education will discuss the nine university CubeSats that will fly on the maiden Vega rocket, and GENSO, the global ground station network for educational satellite missions.

Young professionals and students will have a unique opportunity to learn from and meet members of the space industry, academia and government bodies. Of special interest to students will be a dedicated day to learn about ESA.

ESA’s exhibition at the IAC is on the theme ’Space for Earth’, organised around: Understanding our planet; Global communications; Galileo, Europe’s satellite navigation system; Launchers from Europe’s Spaceport; International Space Station, Science and technology in orbit; Looking deep into the Universe and Exploring the Solar System.

The topics underline how access to space brings many benefits, from knowledge of our Solar System and better navigation and telecommunication systems, to satellites and platforms to monitor our environment.

The ESA exhibition will also act as a focal point for several activities during the week, where visitors will be able to meet Agency specialists.

The annual IAC is organised by the International Astronautical Federation and its associates, the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Institute of Space Law. This year, the local organiser is the Czech Space Office.

The event will be held in the Prague Congress Centre. The exhibition is open to the public on Friday, 1 October, from 14:00 to 17:00.

ESA media highlights during IAC 2010

ESA’s Media Relations will be present in the press centre, ready to connect members of the media with the various ESA experts attending IAC 2010.

Monday, 27 September


Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General, will join the other heads of agencies for the first plenary session in the Congress Hall.


Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General, will brief members of the media at the ESA stand.

Tuesday, 28 September


Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General, will join leading industrialists in discussing the impact of government space policy changes on industry during the second plenary session in the Forum Hall.


Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General, joins Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator, in the knowledge-sharing session ‘ Masters with Masters’. During the one-hour session, the two space leaders will engage in a dialogue on their visions for the future, their personal experiences and lessons learned and their thoughts on preparing the next generation of space programme leaders. Event takes place in the Forum Hall.


Didier Faivre, Head of the Navigation Department, will participate in the plenary session devoted to space navigation. The plenary will take place in the Forum Hall.

Wednesday, 29 September


Gerhard Schwehm, ESA Project Scientist on the Rosetta mission, will present the mission as part of the ‘Late breaking news’ series of sessions. Event takes place in the Forum Hall.


Piero Galeone and Helen Page, from the Education Office, will present the university CubeSats that will fly on the maiden Vega rocket, and GENSO, the global ground station network for educational satellite missions.


Manfred Warhaut, Head of Mission Operations, and Tahir Merali, Columbus Systems Training Group, will participate in the plenary session discussing space operations. The plenary will take place in the Fourm Hall.

Thursday, 30 September


Simonetta di Pippo, Director of Human Spaceflight, will participate in the plenary session on Global Exploration Strategy. The plenary will take place in the Forum Hall.

11:00 to 12:30

Students programme: ESA Day in the International Students Zone. Note: this event may change to Friday same time.


Pal A. Hvistendahl

Head of Media Relations

European Space Agency

Tel: +33 1 53 69 71 58


For further information:

ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: +33.(0)1.5369.7299
Fax: +33.(0)1.5369.7690

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