World’s top space agencies coming to Israel

14 leaders of space bureaus to mark 10th anniversary of the Columbia shuttle disaster and the death of the first Israeli astronaut, Colonel Ilan Ramon.

Fourteen heads of the world’s most important space agencies will attend this month’s Eighth Annual International Ilan Ramon Space Conference, jointly organized by the Israel Space Agency at the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Fischer Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies. The conference will deal with security challenges in space, space exploration, entrepreneurship and innovation in space, space policies, industry and space technologies, and science and technology at the service of space.

The January 29-31 gathering in Herzliya will also mark the 10th anniversary of the Columbia shuttle disaster and the death of the first Israeli astronaut, Ilan Ramon.

“This year’s conference has reached a very distinguished international level,” Rona Ramon, Ilan’s widow, told Ynet. “It’s gratifying seeing all the commemoration activities after 10 years.”

Heads of space agencies expected to attend the event include the NASA Administrator; the Director-General of the European Space Agency (ESA); the President of the French Space Agency (CNES); the President of the Italian Space Agency (ASI); the President of the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB); the head of the Dutch Space Agency (NSO); the Director-General of the Ukrainian Space Agency (NKAU); the Director of the Czech Space Agency (CSO); the Chairman of Kazakhstan’s Space Agency (KazKosmos); the Vice President of the Russian Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS); the Deputy Head of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA); the Deputy Head of the Norwegian Space Agency (NSC); the Chairman of the Danish Space Agency (DTU-Space), and a senior representative of the Chinese Space Agency (CNSA).

“Our success in bringing 14 leaders of the world’s top space agencies demonstrates the recognition in Israel’s growing presence in the space field,” said Prof. Isaac Ben-Israel, chairman of the Israel Space Agency.

Space experts will shuttle back to Israel in 2015 for the prestigious International Space Conference — the world’s largest gathering on space. More than 3,000 researchers and scientists are expected to attend that Jerusalem event.

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. She has jumped out of a plane, ducked rockets and been attacked by a baboon all in the name of a good story. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.