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From the Corner Office

AIAA to Host IAC 2019 in Washington, DC


Space congress to coincide with Apollo’s 50th anniversary

I am excited to share with you that in late September—at the 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico—AIAA was officially selected by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) to host the 70th IAC in Washington, DC, in October 2019. The IAC was last held in the United States in 2002, when AIAA hosted the event in Houston, TX. It is fitting to bring the Congress back to the United States after so many years abroad in the year humanity will celebrate the 50th anniversary of a feat once thought impossible: humans walking on the moon. Washington, DC, presents a unique location to highlight the global progress in space utilization and exploration inspired by those first steps of U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Fifty years later, in 2019, our community will gather in Washington, DC, to celebrate the benefits to humanity of the Apollo program and look forward to the exciting next half century. Hosting the Congress in the nation’s capital provides the U.S. aerospace community a chance to engage with both national leaders, as well as international peers. The Institute believes it is the perfect opportunity to invite the world to commemorate that “one giant leap for mankind” and celebrate the international accomplishments and partnerships to date that have become the hallmarks of space exploration,

The IAC is the premier annual event of the IAF and its partner organizations, the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and the International Institute of Space Law (IISL). The event brings together thousands of decision makers from across all sectors of the global space industry, to discuss the latest space discoveries and developments, as well as to explore opportunities to partner and collaborate. Many AIAA members participate in the IAC, and some are active on the committees that comprise the IAF, IAA, and IISL. The IAF was founded in 1951 to allow the spacefaring nations of the time to engage freely at the height of the Cold War. Its primary missions include promoting cooperation, advancing international development, sharing knowledge, recognizing achievements, preparing the workforce of tomorrow, and raising awareness of global space activities.

As one of the founding members of the IAF, AIAA has served as IAC host for five previous Congresses, two World Space Congresses, and as the co-organizer with the IAF of the Global Space Exploration Conference. Our long-standing membership in, and partnership with, the IAF ensures the teamwork necessary for success.

The Institute worked tirelessly over the last two years to prepare an exemplary bid package that was endorsed by a number of supporters across government (federal, state, and local), industry, and academia, including Lockheed Martin Corporation, who has agreed to be the Industry Anchor Sponsor for the event. Currently, we are in the process of forming our local organizing committee, led by Michael “Obie” O’Brien, former associate administrator for International and Interagency Relations at NASA. This group will be responsible for all aspects of planning and execution of the Congress and ensuring that members of the local and international aerospace communities are well informed of prospective IAC 2019 activities and able to regularly contribute to the planning of the Congress. Because the Congress will take place in the fall of 2019, the Institute will host both the AIAA Propulsion and Energy and AIAA SPACE forums together in August 2019. We will provide more information to members as we get closer to 2019.

We appreciate the confidence of the IAF and all our bid supporters in this endeavor, and we look forward to sharing with the global space community the wonderful, diverse, and fun city that is Washington, DC. To learn more about our bid to host the 2019 IAC in Washington, DC, please visit: http://www.iac2019dc.org. ★

Sandra H. Magnus, AIAA Executive Director

AIAA to Host IAC 2019 in Washington, DC

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