Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and Astronautical Society of India (ASI) jointly organised an ‘International Symposium on Human Spaceflight Programme” at Bengaluru during January 22- 24, 2020 under the theme ‘Human Space Flight and Exploration – Present Challenges and Future Trends’. More than 500 delegates, including national and international technical experts in human spaceflight related technologies from space agencies, astronauts, representatives of International space industries and academic institutes, young professionals and students participated in the Symposium.
The Symposium was inaugurated by Prof. K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India in the presence of Dr K Sivan, Chairman, ISRO on 22nd January, 2020. Honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi conveyed a special message to the participants of the symposium. In his message, he highlighted that the benefits of India’s Space programme are shared with entire world in line with India’s wisdom of “Vasudaiva Kutumbakam (World is one family in Sanskrit).
Shri P Kunhikrishnan, Director, URSC and Chairman, Local Organising Committee, welcomed the participants. Dr B N Suresh, Honorary Distinguished Professor, ISRO and Dr Jean Marc Astorg, Director Launch Vehicle Directorate, CNES, France, the International Programme Committee Co-Chairs addressed the gathering.
The ‘Heads of Space Agencies Panel’ had the space agency chiefs from India and Romania and heads of the human space flight programme of CNES (France), NASA (USA), JAXA (Japan), ASI (Italy), and ROSCOSOMS (Russia). The agency heads made deliberations on the progress and future plans of respective Space Agencies under the changing landscape and economics of human spaceflight and deep space exploration. Mr Jean-Yves Le Gall, President CNES addressed the gathering on January 24, 2020 on the Indo – French partnership in human space flight.
Another significant event in the Symposium was the ‘Astronaut Panel’ held on January 23, 2020 with the participation of five astronauts from France, Germany, Russia, USA and UAE and the panel was moderated by Air Commodore (Retd) Mr Ravish Malhotra. The astronauts presented reminiscence of the space flight, challenges in technical, physiological and psychological aspects of humans during spaceflight.
The Symposium received good response from the Industries. One exclusive industry panel was also organised to give an opportunity for Indian and foreign space industry leaders to discuss on their perspectives on human spaceflight and exploration.
19 invited and plenary lectures were delivered by eminent experts in Human spaceflight area from USA, Russia, France, Japan, Italy, Germany and UAE. Around 100 contributed technical papers were presented by the delegates from different countries under 5 major topics, namely, Challenges, Enabling Technologies, Ground Systems, Scientific and Societal Relevance, Policy Aspects and Economics of human spaceflight.
In order to give special focus on young generation, an exclusive student session was held on January 23, 2020. 60 selected students of premium academic institutions across the country participated in the session and 10 selected papers were presented by students.
An exhibition of technologies and products related to Human Spaceflight including space food was organised part of the symposium. Full size model of Crew Module, half humanoid for the unmanned mission, scaled models of Crew Escape System and space station concept were showcased.
During this event, IAA presented the IAA award for best book in engineering science to Dr K Sivan, Chairman ISRO / Secretary DOS for the book titled ‘Integrated Design for Space Transportation System’ co-authored by him along with Dr B N Suresh.
The three-day Symposium has enabled exchange of information among the delegates on the latest trends in human spaceflight exploration.