The 4th International Conference «Space Technologies: Present and Future», which is conducted under the aegis of IAA, took place on April 17-19 in Dniepropetrovsk and gathered about 300 participants – eminent developers, world scientists, heads of industry companies from 22 countires, as well as interested creative youth.The traditional organizers of the Conference are Yuzhnoye SDO, SE PA Yuzhmash, Oles Honchar Dnepropetrovsk National University, and SSAU. The event takes place every two years and registers the state of things in the industry and in addition, forms the goals and tasks for the future. The Conference is not only a laboratory of innovations but also a powerful business site that accelerates implementation of projects in the industry. It serves as a necessary platform for coordination of international plans and solution of topical issues.
The quantitative dynamics of the Conference is appreciable: there are more participants and respectively, papers. If representatives of 18 countries came to Dniepropetrovsk in 2011, now representatives of another four countries joined them.
The papers at the Conference were heard in five scientific sessions: «Modern and Future Space Launch Systems, LV, Their Components and Systems», «Modern and Future Space Satellite Systems», «Prospective Rocket Engines and Propulsion Systems», «Materials and Technologies», «Space for Humanity».
Dmitry Kolesnikov, Chairman of Dniepropetrovsk Regional State Administration, addressed the Conference participants with a welcoming speech. In particular, he said: “In 2012, Ukraine was in the top twenty nations by the number of rocket and satellite launches. Our nation is one of the few that have the capabilities to create spacecraft and launch them into space. And Yuzhnoye SDO and Yuzhmash get the lion’s share in their creation.”.
At the opening of the conference, Alexander Degtyarev, Yuzhnoye SDO General Designer-General Director, noted that the forum provides the possibility of transforming the business, personal, scientific connections into actual contracts that contribute to the development of new projects and certainly will bring appreciable benefit for hundreds of Ukrainian companies attracted to participation in cooperation in their implementation. New contracts will allow modernizing the production facilities and, will create highly intellectual jobs. The task of Ukrainian scientists and industrialists, as well as high public authorities is to develop and extend international cooperation, particularly, relying on the experience, capabilities and support of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).
Hiroki Matsuo, IAA Vice-President, called attention to the possibility of using asteroids as a source of minerals required for humankind and as a “transit station” for spaceship flights to the Moon and Mars. Many investigations are required for implementation of such bold ambitions and unorthdox ideas. According to H. Matsuo, these areas of research are very closely connected to the national prestige. It would be wonderful, if Ukraine and other space nations chose this way.
The idea of development and production of mineral resources, in particular, nickel, on asteroids was supported by John Hightower, a trustee of the Robert Heinlein Prize Trust. He also noted that it is necessary to pay more attention to the problems of deriving energy from space.This energy will help to save our planet from aggravating environmental crises. The mission of R. Heinlein Trust consists exactly in providing opportunities for young scientists to conduct research in different branches of space science.
It is important now to announce our intentions for the next three-year’s period. Ukraine has intesified the efforts in this area and is seeking support of respected scientists from other countries.
The Conference participants also noted that all previous experience is an eloquent testimony to the high scientific quality of the forums in Dniepropetrovsk and to the great organizational capabilities of the host country and skills inof creating the atmosphere of sincerity and cordial hospitality.
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In the course of the International Space Conference, more than 150 papers on various topics were heard. At the plenary meeting and then during the work in special sessions, Ukrainian and Russian speech was heard, as well as English, German, Chinese, Japanese, Estonian, French and many others, which did not become an obstacle for the fruitful discussions and search for ways to solve any problem in the widest cooperation between the countries of Europe, Asia, United States, South America, Middle East and Far East.
A.Koroteyev (Russain Federation), General Director of Federal State Unitary Enterprise M.V. Keldysh Research Center, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, focused his attention on the development of a new phase in space power engineering, speaking in detail, in particular, about the pros and cons of using nuclear energy. O.Ventskovsky, Director of Yuzhnoye SDO Representation in Brussels, drew attention by his detailed report on the processes of space projects development in Europe and participation of Ukrainian companies in some of them. The conference participants heard with interest the report by A.Novikov, Yuzhnoye SDO Deputy General Designer for Scientific and Educational Work. «Interaction of Science, Industry and Education in Space Rocketry Development» – about the improvement of cooperation between scientific and industrail circles aimed at obtaining high-quality space product.
The problems of anti-asteroid protection of the Earth were reflected in the report by A. Zaitsev (RF), General Director of the Center of Planetary Protection, who suggested combining the efforts of the leading space nations to create the Tsitadel (Citadel) international planetary protection system.
A. Makarov, Yuzhnoye SDO’s Chief Spacecraft Designer, spoke about the creation of the Lybid’ national communication satellite system in Ukraine; the work on this system is planned to be completed in 2013.
Lybid’s delivery into orbit will ensure direct broadcasting of digital television and high-speed Internet access in the countries of Eastern Europe, a part of Asia and in the Middle East.
Many scientists dedicated their papers to the issues of creating Earth remote sensing systems (ERS), necessity of using environmentally friendly and safe rocket propellants, efforts to reduce existing space debris and design such spacecraft, which will not be a threat to other active space objects after their lifetime expires. One of the most topical issues is the development of the space industry in smaller nations that have never been involved in space activity before (for example, Estonia) or have recently included space activitity into the most important governmental strategic missions (Republic of Kazakhstan).
Once again, the conference confirmed its status of the representative and large-scale international forum that contributes to combining the efforts of the world community to advance space exploration.