Reflections on the International Astronautical Congress 2015 in Jerusalem - Friday
The last day of the congress was affected by the premature departure of some of the participants. Early in the morning, a lot of the exhibitors began to dismantle their booths and to hand out remaining promotional materials. The accompanying IAC exhibition ended practically one day earlier than it was planned. However, booth of the Czech Space Office stood until the official end. On Friday, CSO booth was visited mainly by Israeli children and the public.
Jan Kolář together with Michal Václavík attended the General Assembly of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). During the week, disapproving responses began to appear to the admission of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the DPRK (NADA) as a new member of the federation. „Representatives of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) submitted documents to the UN safety and security panel, that prove NADA is the code name for the North Korean Committee of Space Technology. Since 2013, it has been on the list of North Korean organizations under UN sanctions. The General Assembly of the IAF haven't reach an agreement on that yet," said Jan Kolář, the director of the CSO. The program then continued according to schedule approved on Monday. Jan Kolář, IAF vice president for financial affairs presented the financial situation of the federation. The IAF's finacial condition is good and its budget in 2014 and predictions for 2015 are in black numbers. The main income creates membership fees and funds raised from organizing the International Astronautical Congress.
Representatives of the organizers of the 66th IAC introduced statistics of the attendance of the congress. A total of 2,133 participants were registered, including 10 from the Czech Republic. Most visitors came from the United States (310), Germany (237) and Israel (186). The accompanying industrial exhibition covered an area of almost 4,000 m2 and its activities presented 103 workplaces. The number of participants and exhibitors was lower than in previous years, but still it was managed to meet the required conditions. The novelty of IAC 2015 was the organization of bilateral meetings, of which more than 250 were realized.
One of the most anticipated events of the General Assembly was the selection of the host city of IAC in 2018. „In the game, there were three candidates who had been presented on Monday. At today's meeting, we were informed about the results of the internal evaluation of IAF. Both, Bremen and Vienna were evaluated very positively as their teams have experience with organizing of major international events. The surroundings of both cities is also an area with number of workplaces focused on space. Uruguayan Punta del Este can offer conference facilities for up to 2,800 people that is in principle enough to organize the IAC, but the team has no experience in organizing events of similar extend. A winner came from internal assesment of IAF's General Assembly. The elected city was Bremen. This decision was adopted by consensus and there was no need to vote," said Michal Václavík. After that, there were elected four new vice-presidents and the president of IAF, Jean-Yves Le Gall, the current director of the French space agency CNES.
Friday evening belonged to the final traditional ceremony in which the IAF flag was handed over to the new host of the congress. The IAC 2016 will take place in Mexican Guadalajara from 26th to 30th September. Also the prizes to honoured personalities and to students and young professionals were passed during the ceremony.