ISS Symposium: “The ISS has changed the world forever”

“In building the ISS partnership we have made an impossible
step, we have changed the world forever.  The ISS is a model for the future of humanity.
We have to manage the ISS as one part of a wider exploration program for the
benefit of humanity”

Jean-Jacques Dordain
With these remarks, Jean-Jacques Dordain ESA Director
General, opened the International Space Station (ISS) Symposium: “Research in
Space for the Benefit of Humankind in Berlin” on Wed 2, May. Over 250 delegates
were invited to attend, representing the ISS partner nations.
Johann-Dietrich
Wörner, CEO of DLR, stressed that curiousity brings knowledge for tomorrow; if Einstein
hadn’t invented relativity, satellite positioning would be impossible.
Germany’s vice chancellor, Philipp Rösler, enthused about medical technologies,
such as the plasma ray which can disinfect small objects without touching them,
the research for which was carried out on the ISS.
The
agency leaders had a discussion session, where JAXA’s vice president Kiyoshi
Higuchi mentioned how the ISS will contribute to solving the issues we face on
Earth, while ISS Director Mark Uhran stated “we all have a mission: interplanetary
human space flight. The ISS will enable us to step forward in the future”. He added
that economic growth has its basis in research and development, which is what
the ISS is all about. Gilles Leclerc, CSA, said it requires courage and vision
to support long term projects, and others agreed it remains important to reduce
operational costs and increase efficiency. Further new partners would be
welcome.

Heinz Riesenhuber
A passionate speech was delivered by Heinz Riesenhuber,
former German Minister, about needing to capture the hearts and minds of the
public before spending their money: “If everyone knows that imagination is
behind every program, it makes it stronger.
63 countries have participated in research and education on
the ISS, showing that science and knowledge have no borders, while astronauts
motivate students in core ways that can transform their lives, according to
Julie Robinson, NASA.

Sergey Krikalev

Sergey Krikalev, head of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, ended the first day talking
about the balance of creativeness and determinism when living in space. He and
Robert Cabana were the first people to enter the ISS in December 1998.

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