The International Academy of Astronautics is hosted on its 50th anniversary by Arianespace
November 16, 2010
Arianespace’s contributions to the exploration of space and monitoring of Earth’s environment were highlighted during a Washington, D.C. reception honoring the 50th anniversary of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).
This evening’s gathering was organized by Arianespace and held on the eve of the IAA’s anniversary meeting, which brought together the academy’s members with the heads of space agencies from around the world.
Jacques Breton, Arianespace’s Senior Vice President – Sales & Customers, noted that during the company’s 30 years of existence, many of its launches have supported goals that were topics of the IAA’s Washington, D.C. anniversary meeting: planetary robotic exploration, climate change, disaster management and human spaceflight.
As examples of space exploration, he cited Arianespace’s 2009 mission that placed Europe’s Herschel and Planck space probes on their way to deep space to study the Universe’s origins, while its 1992 launch of the U.S./French Topex-Poseidon ocean mapping satellite contributed to the understanding of key climate change indicators.
For human spaceflight, Breton said the culmination of Europe’s role has been realized with the Automated Transfer Vehicle, which is a multi-role resupply cargo spacecraft for the International Space Station (ISS).
“Two years ago, Arianespace launched the first ATV, Jules Verne, to resupply the ISS and sustain human space exploration,” he told attendees at the reception. “Early next year, we will orbit the Johannes Kepler ATV, delivering vitally needed air, water and food to the station’s crew. The ATV program will become even more significant with the Space Shuttle’s retirement in a few months from now.”
The IAA is an independent honorary society of distinguished individuals elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to astronautics and the exploration of space. The academy supports independent studies and conferences, and collaborates with other partner societies.
IAA Secretary General Dr. Jean-Michel Contant was joined by the academy’s newly-elected president Madhavan Nair to thank Arianespace for hosting guests and invitees for the organization’s anniversary meeting.
Nair, who is the former Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, pointed out Arianespace’s role in helping India establish the country’s space activities. “An Ariane launcher orbited India’s first spacecraft in 1981,” he said. “Since then, many of India’s telecommunications satellites have been launched by Arianespace.”