Press Release

Media representatives invited to 62nd International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Cape Town, South Africa

By SpaceRef Editor
August 17, 2011
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IAF PR 08-2011, 16 August 2011 – Media are invited to register for the IAC 2011, to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 3 to 7 October 2011. The Congress is the world’s premier international space gathering attracting every year heads of space agencies, industry executives and experts to discuss the latest advancements in space technology and exploration, as well as the newest political and economical developments in the space sector.

This year, some 3000 delegates are expected at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). Being the first International Astronautical Congress to be held on the African continent, IAC 2011 will have the theme “African Astronaissance”. The first day of the Congress, Monday 3 October has been designated Africa Space Day. A special series of events will culminate in a special African Space Leaders Round Table.

Nearly 2000 quality papers will be presented in a rich and varied technical programme. In addition, the public programme, listed below, will include 9 plenaries, 3 highlight lectures and 3 late breaking news sessions. Business to business opportunities are offered at the International Exhibition and the expanded 3rd International Cluster Forum. The 2011 UN-IAF Workshop is also one of the supporting series of events in Cape Town.

As part of the IAF’s 60th anniversary year, during the Congress the 60th Anniversary Award will be presented to the Global Positioning System (GPS) Programme as a recognition of their outstanding achievement in the area of space applications for human benefit.

More information on the IAC programmes can be found at

Media Registration

Media representatives wishing to attend are strongly encouraged to register in advance by 20 September 2011, to avoid delays at the Congress venue. The registration form and other information is available on the IAF website at For more information on press accreditation, please contact Juliane McCarty: Interview requests should be submitted as early as possible in order to try to accommodate them. Accredited media should state who they want to interview and what would be the subject of the interview.


60th Anniversary Award Ceremony

The IAF 60th anniversary award ceremony will take place at the IAF Booth at 16:00 on Tuesday 4 October. The award will be presented to the Global Positioning System (GPS) Programme, with guest speaker Dr. Bradford Parkinson, GPS Chief Architect and first Programme Director. Other guests include honoree General William L. Shelton, Commander, and other high-ranking representatives from the United States Air Force Space Command.

Plenary Events

Heads of Agency Plenary

Agency Heads will provide an overview of their current programmes and insight into future plans, giving views on actual developments and potential international opportunities.

African Space Leaders Round Table

Heads of Space Agencies from throughout the continent gather in a special plenary, discussing how space technology can transform lives on the continent.

From Space to Earth: Challenges and Opportunities

Heads of Space Agencies, CEOs of space manufacturing industry and other panel members will discuss how the needs of their countries can be met from space, talk about issues pertaining to their sector and describe how satellite communications and Earth observation benefits Africa.

Impact of Satellite Communications in a Global Market: Future Directions in the 21st Century

This plenary session will address how satellites are currently and going to contribute to the connection of developing and industrialising countries into the overall Global Market and the general benefit to human society.

Monitoring Fresh Water from Space

This event will explore how we measure fresh water from space and utilize such measurements in connection with in-situ observations, and what the Earth science models are showing relative to the future availability of water.

Intergeneration Visions for Earth Observations in the 21st Century

This plenary provides an opportunity for students and young professionals to share their ideas on how space-based Earth observation systems can be improved and sustained, ensuring that future decisions are informed by the best quality environmental data products.

Human Space Flight: Fifty Years in Orbit

The year 2011 marks the anniversary of 50 years of human spaceflight. The Plenary will feature astronauts representing several countries and spacecraft experiences.

Interpreting the Declaration of the Heads of Space Agencies Summit

On 17 November 2010, leaders of 30 space agencies from around the world gathered in Washington, DC, USA for an unprecedented IAA Heads of Space Agencies Summit. The IAA will present and discuss the priorities and plans from the summit.

South African and African Space Activities

This special plenary will focus upon the opportunities and challenges of space from a South African perspective.

Highlight Lectures

The Amazing Flying Machine: The Space Shuttle’s Technical Advancements

This lecture will focus on the technical and operational advancements introduced by the Space Shuttle, reviewing these advances and discussing their impact on future space vehicle design and operation.

The Direction of International Earth Science Programmes

This highlight lecture will address the direction of the NASA Earth Science Program, with particular emphasis on the roles of international collaboration in both the global observational system and the use of space-based information for direct, world-wide societal benefit.

A Road Map for Space Astronomy in the Next Decades This lecture will look at the future of orbiting space telescopes.

SpaceRef staff editor.