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Today ends the 69th International Aeronautical Congress with a record number of 6,544 attendees. On the public day, additional 13,000 citizens visited the exhibition and the special sessions. In particular, the in-flight call to ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst on the International Space Station, was a spectacular event and it was lovely to see over 6,000 people cheering for human spaceflight.
#IAC2018 broke a record of attendance! 6544 participants and more than 13000 Bremen Citizens attended the Exhibition during the open day, plus 400 crew! it means that we had more than 20K people getting inspired by #SpaceExploration!!! #InvolvingEveryone #AdAstra pic.twitter.com/saph4D84mm
— Camilo Andres Reyes (@CamiloAnReyes) October 5, 2018
The most prominent topics during the congress were:
The Moon: Both for going back there to stay, as well as stepping stone towards Mars. The Moon is the near-term goal in the Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) and several technical sessions focused on Moon Exploration from technology, scientific or commercial aspects. At least two former Google Lunar XPrize competitors (PTScientist and iSpace) were also present as exhibitors. Airbus pushed for its new competition TheMoonRace and Tom Enders (Airbus CEO), pushed for a stronger (leading) engagement of Europe in space.
— A.C. Charania (@ac_charania) October 4, 2018
Moreover, Lockheed Martin announced today that they will open up Orion for input for potential payloads to fly to the Moon and beyond. Therefore, they set-up a dedicated website “What can you do with Orion”
— Justin Kugler (@phalanx) October 5, 2018
The Deep Space Gateway or also known as Lunar Orbital Gateway concept was also discussed during the congress. The idea is to build a station in cislunar space and from there, send humans back to the Moon and to use it for future human missions into the solar system. The Deep Space Gateway is quite controversially discussed within the community.
“A Gateway spacecraft near the moon adds key infrastructure to enable deep-space missions by astronauts to explore the lunar surface and establish a jumping-off point to Mars.” Boeing’s Pete McGrath at #IAC2018 pic.twitter.com/Rmhg0i7kmn
— Boeing Space (@BoeingSpace) October 2, 2018
#IAC2018: Presentations by @SierraNevCorp, @LockheedMartin, and @NanoRacks envisioned what a @NASA lunar gateway to deep space will look like.
William Pratt of @LockheedMartin said “this is not the ISS-2.0”. Neeraj Gupta of @SierraNevCorp stressed the importance of flexibility.
— Caroline Juang (@caro_in_space) October 2, 2018
As the IAC is a very international congress, international cooperation is of course a hot topic. During the heads of agency panels, every panelist ensured that they encourage international cooperation and want to extend their collaboration. Also, cooperation between China and the US seems feasible, but before this happens some changes in the politics are necessary. Another example of international cooperation is the Orion project. I saw at least 4 different Orion mockups from different companies at the IAC exhibition.
— TechForSpace (@techforspace) October 5, 2018
One of the greatest examples of international cooperation is of course the International Space Station, which has its 20th anniversary this year. Several astronauts gave insights into ISS research in a special session.
The biggest highlight during the IAC week was definitely the landing of the MASCOT lander on the comet Ryugu. Mascot is part of the Hayabusa-2 mission and left the mothership in the early morning on 03Oct2018. On Wednesday morning, representatives of DLR, JAXA and CNES, which cooperate in this mission, were very happy and relaxed. In today’s early breaking news, the first pictures from the asteroid were released. The Mascot lander itself worked for 17 hours on the surface of the comet (16 hours were expected) and changed its position several times. Via the Hayabusa2 mothership, the collected science data is transmitted to Earth, were it will take months to analyze it.
We congratulate the all teams at DLR, CNES & Jaxa to the successful mission.
The IAC2018 concluded with the election of a new IAF president Mrs. Pascale Ehrenfreund – the first woman to hold this position. Dear Pascale, the whole OeWF team congratulates!
— DLR – English (@DLR_en) October 5, 2018
Signing off from Bremen, see you next year at IAC2019 in Washington DC.
Author: Olivia Haider
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