by Chuck Black
It wouldn't be an International Astronautical Congress without public pronouncements from the heads of the largest government space agencies and the 65th International Astronautical Congress
(IAC2014), which will be held in Toronto, Ontario from September 29th - October 3rd, will certainly be following in this tradition.
Expected to join moderator and past International Astronautical Federation
(IAF) president Berndt Feuerbacher on Monday, September 29th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre
(MTCC) for the traditional IAC Heads of Agencies plenary are the following government space agency representatives:
Charles Bolden, the administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA). Given that each representative will be expected to provide an introductory presentation on the latest developments from their respective agency and then take at least a few questions from the audience, it is assumed that Bolden will talk about why Boeing
received so much more money than SpaceX
($4.2Bln USD for Boeing, as compared to $2.6Bln for SpaceX), for a contract to do pretty much the same thing last week, as part of the latest round of the NASA commercial crew program
Xu Dazhe, the administrator of the China National Space Administration
(CNSA). Coming off the successful International Planetary Congress
, another major space conference, which was held Sept 10th to 15th in Beijing, China for the first time, the Chinese leader is likely to be focused on questions of international co-operation and recognition for China's new role as a major space power.
Jean-Jacques Dordain, the director general of the European Space Agency
(ESA). He's held the position since 2003, which makes him perhaps a little more experienced than his colleagues at the other space agencies. Dordain will likely face questions over the ESA next generation Ariane 6
launcher and the competition it faces from the US based SpaceX.
Denis Lyskov, the government secretary and deputy head of the Russian Federal Space Agency
(ROSCOSMOS). With ROSCOSMOS head Oleg Ostapenko unable to attend (no doubt for political reasons), the far duller Lyskov, who is considered unlikely to discuss "trampolines
" or "space gecko's
," is expected to focus on the future expansion plans the agency has been dutifully running up the flagpole over the last year to see if anyone salutes.
Walter Natynczyk, the president of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Natynczyk, seemingly one of the shyest and most reticent CSA presidents in a long time, will likely keep his comments focused on longstanding Canadian government concerns over "international co-operation" and "collaboration" with the other space agency heads.
Naoki Okumura, t
he president of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
(JAXA). Well into the second year of the five-year implementation phase of Japan’s updated basic plan on space policy
, the JAXA head will likely want to talk the JAXA "application-focused approach
" to space system development and the new JAXA small satellite platform, which Japan hopes to sell to other countries.
K. Radhakrishnan, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation
(ISRO). Expect Radhakrishnan to focus his comments on the ISRO Mars Orbiter Mission
(MOM), which should to enter orbit around Mars this week.
The plenary will be held on Monday, September 29th from 1:30pm - 3:00pm at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre
(MTCC) in Hall F on level 800.
It looks like a good show, well worth attending.
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