Washington: The 70th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) formally starts on October 21 with more than 6,300 people registered to attend.
NASA will provide live coverage on NASA Television of key events at the IAC which takes place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington. In addition, the agency will provide coverage of other events during the week online and through its social media channels.
IAC presents an opportunity each year for the world’s space agencies, aerospace companies, academic institutions and other organizations to come together and celebrate accomplishments and contributions made to the advancement of science and space exploration, as well as to discuss issues and programs of common interest.
This year, for the first time in almost two decades, IAC will take place in the United States.
US Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to speak during the opening ceremony of the 70th International Astronautical Congress. Pence chairs the National Space Council the Trump administration reestablished in 2017 to guide and coordinate civil, commercial, national security and international space policy matters.
Every year, the International Astronautical Federation together with the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Institute of Space Law (IISL), holds the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) which is hosted by one of the national society members of the IAF.
The IAC is attended by the agency heads and senior executives of the world’s space agencies.
As the Second World War came to an end, the United States and the Soviet Union began to divide due to their differences in ideology and the governance of their country. As the Cold War began to take shape, communication between the two countries became less frequent. Both countries turned their focus to achieving military superiority over the other.
The International Astronautical Federation was formed six years after the Iron curtain fell by scientists from all over Europe in the field of space research in order to collaborate once more. During the years of the Space Race, the IAF was one of the few forums where members of both East and West Europe could meet during the annual International Astronautical Congresses.