International Astronautical Congress


Opening ceremony of the 70th International Astronautical Congress in Washington, D.C. in 2019
61st International Astronautical Congress in Prague, Czech Republic (2010)

Every year, the International Astronautical Federation with the support of the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Institute of Space Law (IISL), holds the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) which is hosted by one of the national society members of the IAF.

They are an annual meeting of the actors in the discipline of space, and are generally held in late September or early October. They consist of plenary sessions, lectures and meetings. The IAC is attended by the agency heads and senior executives of the world's space agencies.

As the Second World War came to an end, the United States and the Soviet Union held different and competing political worldviews. As the Cold War began to take shape, communication between the two countries became less frequent. Both countries turned their focus to achieving military superiority over the other.

The International Astronautical Federation was formed six years after the Iron curtain fell by scientists from all over Europe in the field of space research in order to collaborate once more. During the years of the Space Race, the IAF was one of the few forums where members of both East and West Europe could meet during the annual International Astronautical Congresses.[1]

Founding Organizations

  • Argentina: Sociedad Argentina Interplanetaria (Argentianian Interplanetary Society)
  • Austria: Österreichische Gesellschaft für Weltraumforschung (Austrian Society for Space Research)
  • France: Groupement Astronautique Français (French Astronautic Group)
  • Germany: Gesellschaft für Weltraumforschung Stuttgart (Society for Space Research Stuttgart), Gesellschaft für Weltraumforschung Hamburg (Society for Space Research Hamburg)
  • Italy: Associazione Italiana Razzi (Italian Rocket Association)
  • Spain: Asociación Española de Astronáutica (Spanish Astronautical Association)
  • Sweden: Svenska Interplanetariska Sällskapet (Swedish Interplanetary Society)
  • Switzerland: Schweizerische Astronautische Arbeitsgemeinschaft (Swiss Astronautical Association)
  • United Kingdom: British Interplanetary Society
  • United States: American Rocket Society, Detroit Rocket Society, Pacific Rocket Society, Reaction Research Society[1]

International Astronautical Federation Governance

The International Astronautical Federation is a non-profit non-governmental organization created in 1951. Under French law, the IAF is defined as a federation of member organizations where a General Assembly is responsible for making decisions.

IAF General Assembly

The IAF general Assembly is in charge of governing the Federation. Composed of delegates from every member organization, the assembly is responsible for voting to approve all major decisions regarding the Federation's rules and regulations as well as the acceptance of new member organizations. The General Assembly meets during the International Astronautical Congress.[2]

IAF Bureau

The IAF Bureau sets the agenda of the IAF General Assembly, including: review of new member candidates; supervision of IAF activities; and supervision of IAF accounts. It is made up of:

The IAF President The Incoming IAF President The IAF Honorary Ambassador 12 IAF Vice-Presidents The IAF Executive Director The IAF General Counsel The IAF Incoming General Counsel The IAF Honorary Secretary The President of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) The President of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) Special Advisor to the President

IAF Secretariat

This branch is in charge of running the administration of the Federation.

Locations of past and future International Astronautical Congresses (IAC)

International Astronautical Congresses are held in the late summer or fall months. In 2002 and 2012 the World Space Congress combined the IAC and COSPAR Scientific Assembly. The 2020 IAC was held virtually due to the global COVID pandemic.

Edition Date Venue
1st September 30 – October 2, 1950 France Paris, France
2nd September 3–8, 1951 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom
3rd September 1–5, 1952 West Germany Stuttgart, West Germany
4th August 3–8, 1953 Switzerland Zurich, Switzerland
5th August 2–7, 1954 Austria Innsbruck, Austria
6th August 2–6, 1955 Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark
7th September 17–22, 1956 Italy Rome, Italy
8th October 6–12, 1957 Spain Barcelona, Spain
9th August 25–30, 1958 Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands
10th August 31 – September 5, 1959 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom.
11th October 7–12, 1960 Sweden Stockholm, Sweden
12th October 1–7, 1961 United States Washington, D.C., US
13th September 19–23, 1962 Bulgaria Varna, Bulgaria
14th September 25 – October 1, 1963 France Paris, France
15th September 7–12, 1964 Poland Warsaw, Poland
16th September 13–18, 1965 Greece Athens, Greece
17th October 9–15, 1966 Spain Madrid, Spain
18th September 24–30, 1967 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Belgrade, Yugoslavia
19th October 13–18, 1968 United States New York, US
20th October 5–10, 1969 Argentina Mar del Plata, Argentina
21st October 4–9, 1970 West Germany Konstanz, West Germany
22nd September 20–25, 1971 Belgium Brussels, Belgium
23rd October 8–15, 1972 Austria Vienna, Austria
24th October, 7–13, 1973 Soviet Union Baku, USSR
25th September 30 – October 5, 1974 Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands
26th September, 21–27 1975 Portugal Lisbon, Portugal
27th October 10–16, 1976 United States Anaheim, California, US
28th September 25 – October 1, 1977 Czechoslovakia Prague, Czechoslovakia
29th October, 1–8, 1978 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia
30th September 17–22, 1979 West Germany Munich, West Germany
31st September 21–28, 1980[3] Japan Tokyo, Japan
32nd September 6–12, 1981 Italy Rome, Italy
33rd September 27 – October 2, 1982 France Paris, France
34th October 10–15, 1983 Hungary Budapest, Hungary
35th October 8–13, 1984 Switzerland Lausanne, Switzerland
36th October 7–12, 1985 Sweden Stockholm, Sweden
37th October 4–11, 1986 Austria Innsbruck, Austria
38th October 10–17, 1987 United Kingdom Brighton, United Kingdom
39th October 8–15, 1988 India Bangalore, India
40th October 7–13, 1989 Spain Malaga, Spain
41st October 6–12, 1990 Germany Dresden, Germany
42nd October 5–11, 1991 Canada Montreal, Canada
43rd August 28 – September 5, 1992 United States Washington, D.C., USA
44th October 16–22, 1993 Austria Graz, Austria
45th October 9–14, 1994 Israel Jerusalem, Israel
46th October 2–6, 1995 Norway Oslo, Norway
47th October 7–11, 1996 China Beijing, China
48th October 6–10, 1997 Italy Torino, Italy
49th September 28 – October 2, 1998 Australia Melbourne, Australia
50th October 4–8, 1999 Netherlands Amsterdam, The Netherlands
51st October 2–6, 2000 Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
52nd October 1–5, 2001 France Toulouse, France
53rd October 10–19, 2002 United States Houston, United States
54th September 29 – October 3, 2003 Germany Bremen, Germany
55th October 4–8, 2004 Canada Vancouver, Canada
56th October 16–21, 2005 Japan Fukuoka, Japan
57th October 2–6, 2006 Spain Valencia, Spain
58th September 24–28, 2007 India Hyderabad, India
59th September 29 – October 3, 2008 United Kingdom Glasgow, United Kingdom
60th October 12–16, 2009 South Korea Daejeon, South Korea
61st September 27 – October 1, 2010 Czech Republic Prague, Czech Republic
62nd October 3–7, 2011 South Africa Cape Town, South Africa
63rd October 1–5, 2012 Italy Naples, Italy
64th September 23–27, 2013 China Beijing, China
65th September 29 – October 3, 2014 Canada Toronto, Canada
66th October 12–16, 2015 Israel Jerusalem, Israel
67th September 26–30, 2016[4] Mexico Guadalajara, Mexico
68th September 25–29, 2017[5] Australia Adelaide, Australia
69th October 1–5, 2018 Germany Bremen, Germany
70th October 21–25, 2019 United States Washington DC, USA
71st October 12-16, 2020 N/A (Virtually livestreamed due to COVID-19) [6]
72nd September 27 – October 1, 2021 United Arab Emirates Dubai, UAE [7]
73rd September 18-22, 2022 France Paris, France [8]
74th September 25–29, 2023 Azerbaijan Baku, Azerbaijan [9]


  1. ^ a b "History | Iaf". Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  2. ^ "Governance | Iaf". Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  3. ^ L. G. Napolitano (October 22, 2013). Applications of Space Developments: Selected Papers from the XXXI International Astronautical Congress, Tokyo, 21 — 28 September 1980. Elsevier Science. ISBN 978-1-4831-5976-8.
  4. ^ IAC – International Astronautical Congress | September 26th – 30th 2016 Guadalajara, Mexico, accessed January 28, 2016.
  5. ^ "International Astronautical Congress in 2017". Archived from the original on October 1, 2016. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
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External links

  • IAF
  • IAC 2012
  • IAC 2013
  • IAC 2013
  • IAC 2014
  • IAC 2015
  • IAC 2017