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  • Planetary congress

  • Concept

    The Congress gathers one hundred astronauts every year (-> see astronauts present at the congress). They are all members of the Association of Space Explorers and completed at least one orbit of the Earth in a spacecraft. It is the very first event gathering astronauts, cosmonauts and taikonauts from all over the world and providing them opportunities to communicate on manned flights and future exploration projects.  
    It is held every year in a different host country. 

  • Purposes & values

    The Congress conveys the values of the Association of Space Explorers.  It aims at promoting the benefits of space exploration and of scientific research in space to the general public. It also aims at fostering the actions encouraging education and advocates a real international space cooperation. 
    During the Congress, one day is devoted to the education - the Community Day. It enables the participants to meet pupils, students, teachers and local media, as well as a local institution pertaining to education.

  • Previous editions

    The very first edition of the Congress took place in Cernay, France, in 1985.

    It then travelled around the World:

    II Congress Budapest, Hungary 1986 / III Congress Mexico City, Mexico 1987 / IV Congress Sofia, Bulgaria 1988 / V Congress Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 1989 / VI Congress Groningen, The Netherlands 1990 / VII Congress Berlin, Germany1991 / VIII Congress Washington, DC 1992 / IX Congress Vienna, Austria 1993 / X Congress  Moscow, Russia 1994 / XI Congress  Warsaw, Poland 1995 / XII Congress  Montreal, Canada 1996 / XIII Congress San Jose, Costa Rica 1997 / XIV Congress Brussels, Belgium 1998 / XV Congress Bucharest, Romania 1999 / XVI Congress Madrid, Spain 2000 / XVII Congress Almaty, Kazakhstan 2001  / XVIII Congress Tokyo Japan 2003 / XIX Congress Salt Lake City, U.S.A 2005 / XX Congress Edinburgh, Scotland 2007 / XXI Congress Seattle, Washington, USA 2008 / XXII Congress Prague, Czech Republic 2009 / XXIII Congress Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2010 / XXIV Congress Moscow, Russia 2011 / XXV Congress Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 2012 / XXVI Congress Cologne, Germany 2013 / XXVII Congress Beijing, China 2014 / XXVIII Congress Stockholm, Sweden 2015  / XXIX Congress Vienna, Austria October 3-7, 2016 / XXX Congress Toulouse, France October 16-20, 2017

    30 years later, it is coming back to France, in Toulouse, at the Cité de l’espace. 

  • 2017 context

    From October 16th to October 20th, 2017, the Congress will be hosted by Toulouse Métropole and the Cité de l’espace, under the high patronage of the CNES, the National Centre for Space Studies, and in partnership with ESA, European Space Agency, and Airbus.

    The 2017 edition is supported by the Association of Space Explorers and especially by the following astronauts and cosmonauts:  


    Michel TOGNINI
    Astronaut, President of the Association of Space Explorers – Europe 

    Jean-François CLERVOY
    European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut


    Dorin PRUNARIU

    Ewald REINHOLD


    Jean-Pierre HAIGNERE

    Claudie HAIGNERE
    Astronaut, advisor to the European Space Agency (ESA) CEO, patron of the Cité de l’espace. 

    Jean-Loup CHRETIEN
    First French astronaut,
    co-founder of the Association of Space Explorers in 1985. 

    2017 brings a very dynamic context for the Planetary Congress thanks to Thomas Pesquet’s Proxima mission (French ESA astronaut), the « Astronauts » temporary exhibition currently running at the Cité de l’espace until the end of 2018 and the 20th anniversary of the Cité de l’espace ! The City of Toulouse is also chairing the Ariane Cities Community in 2017 and has been appointed Science European Capital (ESOF) until 2018.  
  • Focus on...

    The Congress builds up around a 5-day program focusing on the following events:
    Opening and closing ceremonies will be organized during the Congress, as well as events to celebrate the remarkable personalities and institutions of the host country. One of its highlights is the « ASE Crystal Helmet » ceremony – one of the most prestigious awards in astronautics.

    Technical sessions
    Several technical sessions, dedicated to current spatial activities, manned flights and general space exploration, will be organized.
    Booking will be required to attend this year’s sessions. They will however be broadcast on the internet to be available to the largest audience.

    Opening up to education, the general public and the Media
    The Planetary Congress aims at:
    Sharing the spatial experience with the largest public
    Passing motivation and ambition for scientific and technical subjects on to young people 
    Raising awareness on our planet’s future
    Giving thought to the direction to give to spatial activities
    Planning for the future, especially with the dedicated "Community Day".

    In 2017, the Congress will be taking place at the Cité de l’espace, in Toulouse, a unique site to share the European and global space adventure. It is the leading European venue dedicated to the dissemination and the mediation of scientific culture and that implements all the means required to achieve this objective.

    Cultural and touristic program
    Astronauts are invited to meet up with the research centers and the major stakeholders of the local industries and to discover the rich cultural, artistic and scientific heritage of their host city. 

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