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Monday, October 12, 2015
2,000 Delegates Arrive in Jerusalem for Space Industry’s Premier Annual Event

2,000 Delegates Arrive in Jerusalem for Space Industry’s
Premier Annual Event
Hosted by Israel Space Agency, International Astronautical Congress featured
leading space agency directors and famed moonwalker Buzz Aldrin

(JERUSALEM- October 12, 2015) Despite heightened security tensions in
Jerusalem, a crowd of over 2,000 people from 58 nations gathered for the
66th Annual International Astronautical Congress (IAC), the largest annual
event designed for the study and development of the space industry. The
event is being hosted by the Israel Space Agency and the choice of Jerusalem
is generally regarded as a testament to the growing role that Israel has
come to play in space initiatives.

In opening remarks to the IAC, Israel President Reuven Rivlin said, “When I
look up to the stars I think of our dear son Ilan Ramon who died in the
Columbia disaster who was a man who looked to discover the mysteries of
science.”

Israel’s Minister of Science, Technology and Space Ofir Akinus offered his
remarks saying, “This gathering is a remarkable salute to the advancement of
science and the space industry here in Israel. This conference in Jerusalem
at this time is the ultimate proof that no violence or terror will defeat
us. The best response that we can offer today is through this demonstration
through thousands of guests filling the halls of this conference and the
streets of Jerusalem.”

Israel Space Agency Chair Professor Isaac Ben Israel stressed how Israel is
playing a growing role in core areas of space development. “Cyber threats
are a real challenge to space exploration and Israel plays a real role in
protecting our research capabilities.”

Mr. Kiyoshi Higuchi, President of the International Astronautical Federation
stressed a theme of cooperation that was being echoed by many of the
delegates that, “International networking is becoming more essential than
ever before to build a global infrastructure.”

The IAC will feature a five-day program with some 2,600 academic papers
presented. Among the attendees are the heads of all the major space agencies
including NASA Administrator Charles Bolden who will announce a new working
agreement with the Israel Space Agency. Speaking with reporters, Bolden
focused on the recent New Horizons mission which reached Pluto in recent
months and returned remarkable images which grabbed the attention of the
world.

Famed moonwalker Buzz Aldrin is also attending and remarked on his
impressions of the Israeli space program and said he looked forward to
continued accomplishments out of Israel. He also joked that the only reason
that Neal Armstrong was able to make the historic first step on the moon
“was because he was standing closer to the door.”

Aldrin remains very active in promoting initiatives in the area of space
discovery and travel and opened his remarks by saying, “I feel very
fortunate to come along at this time in human history.” While in Jerusalem,
Aldrin also helped launch a new initiative together with the Israel Space
Agency and the Israeli Ministry of Science and the Heinlein Foundation which
would promote interest in space education amongst Israeli youth. The
Foundation presented three original space suits which will travel among
Israeli schools.

Heinlein Foundation representative Hart Dola said, “We hope that we will be
able to show the young people that when there is a positive vision for
humanity like that represented by space discovery and if you show a child a
positive vision then they can achieve anything that is possible.”

The Congress will discuss many of the key developments reached from in the
space industry in recent months including the discovery of water on Mars
which is sure to encourage the conversation over planned manned missions to
the Red Planet as well as plans to return space to the moon. NASA
Administrator stressed that Mars was a focus of the agency’s activity and
that “Our focus is on getting humanity to Mars.”

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