Thursday, September 25, 2014

The #IAC is only one week a year, but space friends are for life. My 2003-2010 photo highlights. #IAC2014 Countdown!

As I make my way to the 2014 International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in my hometown of Toronto, there is a lot of IAC history to reflect on since my first conference in 2003 in Bremen, Germany. I've been privileged to travel to world to meet and work with students, young professionals, and space leaders from many nations all with the common goal of space exploration and development. Below is a photo summary of my IAC experience and the locations I've visited. I haven't been to the IAC since 2010, and I missed 2004 because of the winning flights of White Knight and SpaceShipOne in the Ansari +XPRIZE competition by Burt Rutan's team. In 2003 I received support from the +European Space Agency, ESA who was partnered with the +Canadian Space Agency; in 2005, 2006 and 2007 I was sponsored by the +Canadian Space Agency; in 2008 and 2009 I was sponsored by +NASA and inducted into the NASA Student Ambassadors (Cohort 1); and in 2010 I received support from +Yuri's Night. For 2014 I am attending on behalf of the State of Florida and my work, Space Florida.
The International Astronautical Congress (IAC) is run by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). I've been on the Workforce Development-Young Professionals Programme Committee (WD-YPP) since 2010.

2003: Bremen, Germany

Bremen's famous statute, yes I'm always this goofy.
At every IAC, there is architecture that is out of this world.
My first poster about the X PRIZE Cup, my International Space University Master's thesis with the +XPRIZE Foundation.
+Peter H. Diamandis was not able to make the IAC, so I filled his slot by presenting the X PRIZE Cup

2005: Fukuoka, Japan

Team Canada, sponsored by the +Canadian Space Agency
Before the conference started, I was part of a student workshop. I ended up leading our group. Japanese Astronaut Chiaki Mukai helped the groups out and she was very inspirational. She is one of my favourite astronauts!
5-story Gojunoto Pagoda on the island of Miyajima. This was before I hiked to the top of Mount Misen.
Itsukushima Shrine on the island of Miyajima, Japan. The tide goes so far out that you can walk out to the shrine.
+Damian Rogers and I representing students in space.

2006: Valencia, Spain 

Team Canada and our CSA Mom Marilyn Steinberg.
Valencia has beautiful architecture including the "Hemispheric" IMAX theater in the "Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias" where the side opens up like eyelids over an eye.
The three amigos reunited. +Trond Krøvel+Melissa Battler and I met at the 2005 International Lunar Conference in Toronto.
Presenting work on how to train a crew using analogue research.

2007: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

The first time I met +Bill Nye at the IAC.
Here's trouble again.
Team Canada.
A big juxtaposition in one of the busiest cities in the world after spending 4 months in the Arctic as part of a simulated Mars mission (FMARS, Devon Island, Nunavut).
The Taj Mahal in early light. It's a very tranquil location compared to the surrounding city of Agra.

2008: Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

The Citizen Firefighter statue of Glasgow.
The IAC location, again funky architecture for the win!
Getting into the dirty details of my PhD research on lunar dust abrasion from the Moon.
Moon Men. Yuki Takahashi, +Trond Krøvel, myself, and ESA Chief Scientist Bernard Foing.
Melissa's Angles strike a pose in Edinburgh, Scotland outside Greyfriar Bobby's Bar. +Jen Kobrick+Melissa Battler and +Kim Binsted.
+Jen Kobrick standing tall on the basaltic pillars of Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland during our post conference travels.
Blarney Castle in Ireland. We kissed the Blarney Stone, but the old towers are more picturesque.
The Cliffs of Moher are breathtaking, even in a standard foggy Irish day.
+Jen Kobrick and I couldn't help put think of Spinal Tap while visiting Stonehenge in the United Kingdom.
Portsmouth, England was a great stop on the way from Stonehenge to London. We also stopped to see the Round Table, but not Camelot.
London! Can you believe that we weren't Doctor Who fans before this trip!
Reaching for the Moon in London. This is the Apollo 10 capsule.

2009: Daejeon, South Korea

+Kevin Stube and I moderated the first ever Student/Young Professionals Plenary. It was the kickoff to the opening reception Monday evening.
It's always a pleasure to see Astronaut and NASA +NASA Administrator +Charles Bolden Jr.
Very cool space decorations in the neighboring park that hosted a space festival for the city.
Meeting some locals. I did meet Astronaut +Soyeon Yi for the first time on this trip.
The International Space University / +X PRIZE Foundation alum reunited. +Nicole Jordan+Nicolas Peter+Brooke Owens+William Pomerantz+Bee Thakore and myself.
Visiting Seoul, South Korea after the conference. A beautiful city.
North meats South Korea with barbed wire in the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone).

2010: Prague, Czech Republic

Before the IAC I visited TUM friends and enjoyed Munich's sites and sounds.
Some very LOUD sounds at Oktoberfest.
We climbed to the top of the Schwangau region of Germany for an amazing look at the country and neighbor Austria. On the way down... was Disney's inspiration of Cinderella's Castle.
Neuschwanstein Castle, beautiful! We didn't go inside but we had a one of a kind view as we hiked down the mountain.
I had some private time with ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain to interview him about human spaceflight for a +Yuri's Night video contest for the 50th Anniversary of Human Spaceflight.
The YP panel! This time I was selected to be on the Student / Young Professionals panel to discuss Space Operations. I focused on hands on experiences and analogue research.
Prague showing off some gold bling.
Astronomical Clock in Prague. I love gold!

2014: Toronto, Canada

Highlights in progress...
Home sweet home for the IAC!


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