McGill's Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL) and the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS) invite you to this conference, which will be an opportunity to reflect and exchange information on a number of topics in space safety and sustainability of national and international interest. The conference will also a forum to promote mutual understanding, trust, and the widest possible professional international cooperation in such matters.
Visit the conference website at iaassconference2013.spacesafetyfoundation.org for the programme, registration information, and more.
Safety is not an option
The once exclusive “club” of nations with autonomous sub-orbital and orbital space access capabilities is becoming crowded with ambitious new entrants. Commercial spaceports are being built and are becoming operational.
The historical flights to the ISS of the privately-owned DragonX and Cygnus spacecrafts have inaugurated the era of commercial “spaceliners” that can provide cargo and crew transportation services to orbit.
International cooperation both on the civil and commercial fronts is also gaining momentum. The robotic space exploration will accelerate and, with it, the need to improve international usage of nuclear power sources. Space-bound systems and aviation traffic will share an increasingly crowded airspace, while aviation will rely more on safety-critical services based in near-space.
Finally, most nations nowadays own important space assets, mainly satellites of various kinds and purpose, which as for human missions are under the constant threat of collision with other spacecraft and with the ever increasing number of space debris. Without proactive and courageous initiatives, we risk to negate access and use of space to future generations. Awareness is increasing internationally (as solemnly declared since decades in space treaties) that space is a mankind asset and that we all have the duty of caring for it.
The sixth IAASS Conference will in addition dedicate a set of specialised sessions to three topics which need to get better attention in space programs: Space Debris Remediation, International Space Traffic Control, and Commercial Human Spaceflight Safety.
Active removal from orbit of “dead” satellites and spent launcher upper stages, and international coordination of space traffic are mandatory for safe orbital operations, and for the safety of the public on ground. Instead, the safety of commercial human spaceflight is a critical element for the expansion, and perhaps even continuation, of human spaceflight. The success of commercial spaceflight will be determined by a substantially higher level of safety and not solely by cost reductions. These special sessions will provide participants insight, innovative strategies and open discussion into these important aspects of space safety.