The 14th SpaceOps International Conference on Space Operations took place from Monday 16 to Friday 20 May in Daejeon, South Korea, organized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). This year’s conference centred on the theme of “Expanding the Space Community” and provided the opportunity for KARI to hand over to CNES and Daejeon to Marseille, which will be hosting the next edition of SpaceOps in 2018.
SpaceOps is a technical forum of the space operations community that addresses state-of-the-art operations principles, methods, and tools. The 2016 edition, on the theme “Expanding the Space Community”, provided the opportunity to share experience, challenges, and innovation solutions with the world’s space community, focusing on programme activities in the coming years, looking at low-cost exploration mission development opportunities and inspiring involvement in the space sector of developing countries and emerging players. Lastly, SpaceOps also offers the chance to bring together a professional and technical network with leading-edge space operations experts from academia, agencies and industry.
CNES was involved in this year’s SpaceOps on several fronts, notably because the next conference in
2018 will be held in Marseille. Thursday 18 May, CNES presented the International SpaceOps Lifetime
Achievement Medal to Christopher C. Kraft, who pioneered and developed many concepts forming the
foundation of human spaceflight and mission control for NASA that are still being used today by the teams managing international space operations. CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall also gave the closing speech during which he hailed the excellent partnership between France and South Korea, the success of
SpaceOps 2016 and the advent of NewSpace, or rather SmartSpace as he prefers to call it, highlighting the fact that space systems are getting smarter, smaller, more modular and more flexible. He also noted the key role of space in efforts to tackle climate change—an issue that is going to be at the top of the agenda in the years ahead—less than one week after the New Delhi Declaration was adopted.
Jean-Yves Le Gall also took over from KARI for France for the next edition of SpaceOps, which is to be
held in 2018 in Marseille, a great honour for the French space community. On this occasion, he
commented: “I am especially pleased to have been able to be here with you at this 2016 edition of
SpaceOps, because our Korean friends, with whom we have sustained an excellent working relationship for many years now, put on a fantastic conference, and because I am proud and moved to be taking with me the SpaceOps flag, as is the tradition, as France and CNES will have the great honour of hosting the next edition in 2018 in Marseille.”