2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the first manned mission to the moon. Its era – those early days of space exploration – was defined by the ‘space race’, where America and Russian competed over every breakthrough. Five decades on, putting humans in space is a markedly different concept. Now, global co-operation is key.
That spirit is enshrined in the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), and in its annual symposium, which visits Dubai this November. The event brings together the world’s foremost experts in astronautics, so they can recognise the accomplishments of their peers, explore and discuss cutting-edge issues in space research and technology, and share direction and guidance on the ongoing exploration of the solar system.
In recent years the UAE has become an increasingly engaged and prominent member of this community. The theme of this year’s symposium – ‘Together to Mars’ – matches the UAE’s advanced plans to send a mission (The Hope Orbiter) to the red planet in 2020.
The international collaboration necessary for ultimately sending a manned mission to Mars therefore forms a key part of this year’s agenda. The event, which attracts delegates from most of the IAA’s 65 member nations, discusses practical ways to foster a spirit of co-operation and progress that transcends national boundaries, cultures and institutions.