The 8th IAASS Conference “Safety First, Safety for All” is an invitation to reflect and exchange information on a number of topics in space safety and sustainability of national and international interest. The conference is also a forum to promote mutual understanding, trust, and the widest possible international cooperation in such matters. The once exclusive “club” of nations with autonomous sub-orbital and orbital space access capabilities is becoming crowded with fresh, and ambitious new entrants. New commercial spaceports are starting operations and others are being built.
In the manned spaceflight arena a commercial market is becoming a tangible reality with government use of commercial services for cargo and crew transportation to orbit, and the addition of a commercial habitable volume to the international space station. Besides the national ambitions in space, the international cooperation both civil and commercial is also gaining momentum..
Space bound systems and aviation traffic will share more and more a crowded airspace, while aviation will increasingly rely on space-based safety-critical services. In particular air launches may become an important segment of the launch business and will drive the establishment of new regulations. Finally, most nations own nowadays space assets, mainly satellites of various kinds and purpose, which are under the constant threat of collision with other spacecraft and with the ever increasing number of space debris. Awareness is increasing internationally (as solemnly declared since decades in space treaties) that space is a mankind asset and that we all have the duty of caring for it. Without proactive and courageous international initiatives to establish an international regulatory framework for space traffic management we risk to negate access and use of space to future generations.
The 8th IAASS Conference will in addition dedicate a set of specialized sessions to four topics which need to get better attention in space programs: Space Debris Reentries, Space Traffic Management, Safety Standards for Commercial Human Spaceflight , and Human Performance and Safety on Long Duration Missions .