Readout of NASA Administrator Bridenstine’s Visit to the 69th International Astronautical Congress

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2018

Administrator Bridenstine arrived in Bremen, Germany on Sunday, September 30 to attend the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) and meet with a number of space agency leaders. On Sunday evening, he made brief remarks on the U.S. Exploration Campaign to visiting members of parliament from around the world hosted by the Bremen Regional Parliament. Later, he hosted a reception for his space agency counterparts. Invitees, among others, included representatives of twenty-two space agencies.

On Monday, October 1, Bridenstine met with Administrator Zhang Kejian, of the China National Space Administration (CNSA). This was the first meeting of the two leaders and it provided an opportunity to share their respective program priorities including plans for lunar exploration.

Following the CNSA meeting, Bridenstine joined other senior international officials to attend the IAC Opening Ceremony and later formally opened NASA's exhibit at the IAC. He then met with His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul, Chairman of the United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAESA). Administrator Bridenstine and His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul signed an Implementing Arrangement for cooperation in Human Space Flight. The new arrangement will enable opportunities for the UAE to work with NASA to utilize the International Space Station (ISS), ground based NASA research at the UAE's planned Mars Science City and for the UAE Space Agency to contribute to lunar exploration. The United Arab Emirates is currently cooperating with NASA and other U.S. entities to develop an orbiter, "Hope", to launch in 2020 and reach Mars in 2021.

In the afternoon, the Administrator participated in a Heads of Agency Plenary. Other speakers were Sylvain Laporte, President of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Dmitri Loskutov of Roscosmos, K. Sivan, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Hiroshi Yamakawa, President of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Jan Wörner, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), and Kejian Zhang, Administrator of the China National Space Administration (CNSA). The moderated plenary gave each representative an opportunity to give a brief statement on their respective space priorities then participate in an audience Q&A. Administrator Bridenstine emphasized the importance of international cooperation in NASA's future lunar exploration plans.

Directly after, Bridenstine participated in a joint press conference with K. Sivan, Jan Wörner, Hiroshi Yamakawa, and Dmitri Loskutov.

Later in the day, Bridenstine participated in an International Space Education Board (ISEB) Panel with a Student Q&A portion. Other panelists included Dr. Francisco Javier Mendireta, Administrator of the Mexican Space Agency (AEM), Dr. Megan Clark, President of Australian

Space Agency, Mr. Sylvain Laporte, President of Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Dr. Johann- Dietrich Woerner, Director General of European Space Agency (ESA), Dr. Hiroshi Yamakawa,

They also discussed Luxembourg's interest in potentially providing support for the NASA Exploration Campaign.

Bridenstine also met with Mr. Klaus-Peter Willsch to discuss NASA's Exploration campaign and opportunities for Germany's participation either bilaterally or through the European Space Agency. Mr. Willsch is a Member of the German Parliament (Bundestag) and Chairman of its Aviation and Space Group.

On Tuesday evening he participated in a panel titled 'The Future of Space Exploration & Opportunities for Young Professionals'. Other panelists were Mr. Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin and Ms. Lisa Callahan, Vice President for Commercial Civil Space for Lockheed Martin.

On Wednesday, October 3, he continued his visit to the IAC and with bilateral meetings with his space agency counterparts from the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Israel, Germany, and Canada. The primary topic of discussion was NASA's Exploration Campaign including the lunar Gateway and opportunities for international and commercial partnerships.

The U.K. Space Agency, led by Dr. Graham Turnock, updated Bridenstine on their Agency's commercial initiatives including progress on their recently announced plans to establish commercial spaceports in the UK.

The Administrator met with representatives from the Italian Space Agency (ASI). ASI President Roberto Battison and Administrator Bridenstine reviewed ongoing cooperation and opportunities for future cooperation in NASA's Exploration Campaign either through the European Space Agency or on a bilateral basis.

Mr. Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of the French Space Agency (CNES), met with the NASA delegation to discuss key areas of cooperation and plans for NASA's exploration campaign. They also discussed plans for the upcoming November landing of the Insight mission on Mars, which includes significant contributions from CNES.

Mr. Avi Blasberger, Director General of Israel Space Agency (ISA) and Administrator Bridenstine signed a joint agreement to enable cooperation on the commercial SpaceIL lunar lander mission. Under this agreement NASA will provide a small instrument on the spacecraft and conduct scientific research from the mission in cooperation with Israel. This mission, scheduled to be launched by Space-X early next year will be the first commercial lander on the surface of the moon.

Bridenstine met with Professor Pascale Ehrenfreund, Chair of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). During their meeting Ehrenfreund updated Bridenstine on the successful landing the Mascot spacecraft on the surface of Ryugu, which had occurred earlier in the day. They also discussed the significant German industrial involvement in the development of the ESA European Service Module.

Mr. Sylvain Laporte, President of the Canadian Space Agency, and the Administrator discussed the strong partnership between the United States and Canada and the Exploration Campaign. They discussed the sustainable lunar architecture, including Gateway. The Administrator looks forward to visiting Canada in the near future.

Bridenstine also participated in an IAC plenary session discussion on space safety moderated by ESA Director General Wörner. Following the discussion, the audience had a live downlink to the International Space Station where Bridenstine and other panel participants were able to ask questions of ESA Astronaut Alex Gerst.

Megan Powers

Headquarters, Washington

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