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Sunita to address astronauts’ meet

india Updated: Sep 19, 2007 02:50 IST
BR Srikanth
BR Srikanth
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Astronaut Sunita Williams will recount the complex technological challenges associated with the International Space Station (ISS) to a galaxy of scientists from across the world in Hyderabad on September 28. These scientists — about 2,000 of them, including head honchos of space agencies of the US, Russia, Japan, China, Canada, Europe and India — will flock together at the 58th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2007) to take place in Hyderabad from September 24-28.

On the last day of IAC 2007, Sunita Williams will talk about her experiences in operating the International Space Station from December 2006 to June 2007.

Her colleague, William Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator for Space Operations, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), will talk about the key international achievements to date (onboard the space outpost) and the road ahead. The ISS will cross a key milestone in 2010 when it completes construction of this unique facility.

At IAC 2007, scheduled to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, space scientists and key representatives of big ticket companies will address topics such as space transportation, communication satellites, Earth observation, human spaceflight, exploration of outer space and the planets, and space law. The theme of the Congress is "Touching Humanity: Space for Improving Quality of Life", according to sources in the International Astronautical Federation (IAF).

Alongide this conference, a business conclave will be held to knit contracts between researchers, manufacturers, service providers and representatives of federal governments, in the sphere of aerospace industry. By 2009, the global aerospace market will touch an estimated value of $1,380 billion.

"The conclave is planned to highlight the huge market to Indian companies and open India's capability to the world. It is important for India to set a higher national agenda and encourage public-private partnerships or we will be left behind," said ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair.