Space is Big – Space is Public

Wednesday 3 October 2018, 13:30 – 16:00

Location: Bremen Conference Center – ÖVB Arena


Outer space. Vast expanses of the universe…over 4,500 experts will meet during the International Astronautical Congress 2018 (IAC 2018) to discuss the immense scope of the various space-related disciplines. Interested members of the public are also invited. On 3 October, German Unity Day, the conference organizers invite you to the “Public Day”. Visitors will meet and experience high-level representatives from science, politics, and industry, and experience a live-call to the International Space Station ISS.

The highlight event “Space is Big – Space is Public” is currently planned to begin at 13:30 with a roundtable discussion on “Space Safety”. The subject: How can space traffic be regulated? How to avoid collisions in outer space? The number of space objects in orbit is steadily on the increase. Along with the many satellites out there, space debris or junk has increased to about 750,000 objects larger than 1 cm! Sun storm and cosmic radiation from other distant sources are just some of the other hazards that dictate space weather and which impact the Earth’s climate and terrestrial technology causing disruptions and malfunctions in our power grids, etc. The discussion also includes “planetary defence systems”: These ensure early warnings about possible asteroid or comet impacts, and their avoidance or mitigation. Is playing billiards with comets an option we need to consider seriously?

As from 14:30, the audience will tune-in live to the International Space Station, ISS. The schedule currently includes a live session with Alexander Gerst, who will be the second ESA and first German commander of the International Space Station in the twenty years of its existence. The 42-year-old geophysicist has arrived on the ISS in June this year and will assume command in October.

At about 15:00, visitors will be able to get close-up to real astronauts. They will report on their experiences in outer space, taking enough time to answer questions from the audience.




13:30 – 14:30Plenary 6:From Deep Impact to Gravity through Space Weather: Working Together to Protect From Space Hazards, Human-made or Natural
14:30 – 15:00GNF:In-Flight Call with Alexander Gerst
15:00 – 16:00GNF:IAF-ASE Astronaut Event


MAster Of Ceremony

Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Space Scientist,

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC),

United Kingdom



Full Bio

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE is a space scientist whose passion is presenting science to a general audience and demonstrating that you ‘don’t need a brain the size of a small planet’ to understand, participate in and enjoy science.  Her BBC 2 programme, “Do We Really Need the Moon?” showed just that.  The programme earned Maggie the talkback Thames new talent award at the prestigious Women in Film and TV Awards in December 2011.  She went on to present “Do We Really Need Satellites?” and was one of the main scientists on Channel 4’s Brave New World.  She is currently presenting Sky at Night on BBC 4, Mini Stargazing for Cbeebies and is a panellist on Sky One’s successful science quiz show, ‘Ducks Quack Don’t Echo’.  She also makes regular appearances on The One Show, Newsnight and Woman’s Hour and was a guest on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.

Maggie studied at Imperial College where she obtained her degree in Physics and her PhD in Mechanical Engineering.  Since then she has spent much of her career making novel, bespoke instrumentation ranging from hand held land mine detectors to an optical subsystem for the James Webb Space Telescope.

To further share her love of science Maggie conducts “Tours of the Universe” and other public engagement activities, showing school children and adults around the world the wonders of space.

Welcome Address

Jean-Yves Le Gall


International Astronautical Federation (IAF),





Martin Guenthner

Senator of Economic Affairs, Labour and Ports,

Bremen Senate,