The Hubble space telescope 311.
(photo credit: NASA)
The International Space Conference will be held in Israel in 2015, the Science
and Technology Ministry has reported, and will be one of the largest conferences
in Israel in years.
The venue was chosen at last week’s annual conference
of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), held in Naples, Italy. The
conference is the world’s largest gathering on space.
The Israel Space
Agency’s bid surpassed those of Thailand and Mexico. The annual space federation
event is held every October, each time in a different country. Some 3,000 space
scientists, ISA officials and industrial leaders attend and learn about the
latest innovations and discuss space policies.
The IAF is the largest
body in the world in the field of space and has 250 member organizations around
the world. It aims at advancing space know-how and the development of products
by encouraging international cooperation.
The event in Jerusalem will
attract many tourists and include 30 symposiums and 2,000 lectures by experts
from 70 countries and also include a huge space exhibition.
successful bid was made possible by the unanimous support and encouragement
among state agencies and offices. Among those who voice their enthusiastic
support for holding the conference in Jerusalem were President Shimon Peres,
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the Knesset, the Supreme Court, the Science
and Technology Ministry, the Tourism Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the
Science and Technology Minister Daniel
Herschkowitz said he was thrilled that efforts to bring the conference to
“Participants will become Israel’s ‘ambassadors’ to
the world in the field of space by seeing our advances in the field,” he
The choice of Israel to host the conference is a sign of growing
recognition of Israel’s abilities in the field of space, said Prof. Yitzhak
Ben-Yisrael, chairman of the Israel Space Agency, which operates under the
ministry’s aegis. Ben-Yisrael, a former senior IDF official, was presented at
the Naples conference with a life membership in the International Astronautical
“We worked for a whole year on our bid to host the 2015
conference. It will bring honor to the country and the space agency, and the
investment has proven itself. It will advance Israeli space activity in academia
and industry,” added Israel Space Agency director-general Menahem Kidron.