IAF to receive back 300 unique space-flown flags at ILA 2012

Press Release From: International Astronautical Federation
Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2012

IAF PR 06-2012, 11 September 2012 - The International Astronautical Federation will receive back 300 IAF 60th anniversary flags, the only object on Earth to have flown aboard spacecraft belonging to all nations with an active human spaceflight programme, at a ceremony at this year's ILA Berlin Air Show in Germany.

The flags, travelled in space for a total of 444 days, have been aboard Soyuz TMA-20, the International Space Station (ISS), Endeavour STS-134, Tiangong-1 and Shenzhou-9. Following their last flight, they will be handed over to IAF by a Chinese delegation including Ms Ping WU, Deputy Director-General of the China Manned Space Agency, and Mr Wang LIU, the taikonaut who performed Shenzhou-9's manual docking to the ISS earlier this year.

12 Sep 2012: Erratum: An error appeared in our press release dated 11 September 2012. Taikonaut Wang LIU performed a docking maneuver to Tiangong-1 earlier this year, and of course not to the ISS. Please find below the corrected press release.

The ceremony will be the last 'stop' for the flags before they are given to IAF member organisations to thank them for their support to the Federation. This final hand over will take place during this year's International Astronautical Congress (IAC), 1-5 October in Naples, Italy.

The flags' journey, commenced 2 years ago to celebrate IAF's 60th anniversary, will then come to its successful completion. "We started this initiative in line with IAF's mission to promote international cooperation for the advancement of human space activities. Our much and so well-travelled IAF flags are the perfect illustration of the truly global reach of our organisation," commented Prof. Dr Berndt Feuerbacher, IAF President.

The IAF flags ceremony will take place at 10:15 on Friday 14 September in the ILA Space Pavilion. It will be followed by ILA's Astronauts' Day programme, organised by the European Space Agency (ESA), the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), where Mr Liu will join other of his astronaut colleagues to talk about their experiences, views and hopes for human spaceflight.

More information on the IAF ceremony:

Contact information:

Juliane McCarty
IAF Public Affairs and Communications Officer
Phone : +33(0)1 45 67 55 97
Fax: +33(0)1 42 73 21 20
Email :

About the International Astronautical Federation (IAF)

Founded in 1951, the International Astronautical Federation is the world's leading space advocacy body with 227 members in 59 countries, including all leading space agencies, companies, societies, associations and institutes worldwide.

Following its theme "A space-faring world cooperating for the benefit of humanity", the Federation advances knowledge about space and fosters the development and application of space assets by advancing global cooperation. As organiser of the annual International Astronautical Congress (IAC) and other meetings on specific subjects, the IAF actively encourages the development of astronautics for peaceful purposes and supports the dissemination of scientific and technical information related to space.

ILA Berlin Air Show 2012:

ILA Astronauts' Day programme

International Astronautical Congress 2012:

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