Dubai: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos invited to space congress in October


Dubai - The once-a-year event will see the global space community work towards the advancement of mankind.

By Nandini Sircar

Published: Tue 18 May 2021, 9:14 PM

Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson are among the space tech stars that officials are eyeing to bring to Dubai for the 72nd International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in October, it was revealed on Tuesday.

“We are reaching out to all of them…be it Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos or Richard Branson. They are in the focus of both the general public and the space community due to their great achievements. We haven’t got the final names yet,” said Dr Christian Feichtinger, executive director of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF).

The IAC will be held from October 25 to 29, making the UAE the first Arab country to host this annual, high-profile gathering of the international space industry since the congress’ establishment in 1950.

The once-a-year event will see the global space community work towards the advancement of mankind through an exchange of ideas and strategies and a discussion of emerging trends.

The event that was supposed to be hosted by Dubai last year eventually became a virtual show due to the pandemic. This year, top officials of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) are committed to making this event a big success.

Yousef Hamad Al Shaibani, director-general of the MBRSC, said: “We are set to deliver a global event that will strengthen our scientific commitment and long-term cooperation on many vital issues related to the space sector. We look forward to welcoming all of you this October in Dubai.”

As the congress will be held alongside the Expo 2020 Dubai, guests will also get the chance to experience the mega event. All Covid safety protocols will be strictly followed, the officials assured.

Salem AlMarri, assistant director-general of the IAC 2021 LOC Chair, said: “A year later we are prepared and ready as ever…in fact, better prepared. We have used the time to learn and visit all aspects of the event to ensure it runs smoothly and safely for all.”

A comprehensive programme has been drafted for the event themed ‘Inspire, Innovate and Discover For the Benefit of mankind, said professor Pascale Ehrenfreund, president of the IAF.

“We will have a rich plenary programme with the usual heads of space programmes. Additionally, there will be plenaries that will focus on Mars missions, emerging space agencies, the views of the next generation, small satellites and expedition 661 reunion, just to name a few.”

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