IAC 2018 – The Next Generation Plenary

Small Sats – Involving Everyone Through Their Applications


Bremen, Germany

1-5 October, 2018

Students and Young Professionals, We Want Your Input!


Small Sats are making the vision of a more diverse space sector reality today. The standardization of small busses, sharing of design, use of off the shelf components, and reduction in launch costs are enabling entrepreneurs, start-ups, universities, high schools, and even grade schools to engage in outer space projects regardless of where they are geographically or the sophistication (or even existence) of a national space program.


More important than the satellites themselves is their utilization. The expanding pool of developers is finding more diverse ways of using the satellites well beyond that imagined a few years ago. Through new and innovative applications, the global space network will affect the lives of people around the world.


The expanding knowledge base and reduced cost of engagement are enabling the Next Generation to be in the front ranks of the industrial expansion regardless of generation, gender, or geography. Here they have the opportunity to be leaders in finding the new ways to use space resources to affect life on earth.


In this plenary, students and young professionals (approximately 35% of the IAC attendees) who are contributing to these efforts will bring the story of how they are engaged in developing or using these applications. They will tell how they expect to advance knowledge, improve conditions, protect life and property, and increase prosperity for an expanding portion of the global population through the use of Small Sats. This will be a discussion of Small Sat use around the world, not Small Sat development.


We want your input now! We invite you to share your ideas in a plenary panel with an audience of senior space leaders in government, industry and academia at the International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany 1-5 October 2018!


This is a wonderful opportunity for you to address and influence the international space community.


If approved, this event will be the week of 1-5 October, 2018 in Bremen Germany, at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) (www.iac2018.org). The participants will engage in a panel discussion with other students and young professionals from around the world and interact with the audience while discussing their efforts in Small Sat applications.  The plenary will be moderated in a format similar to a talk show, interweaving clips from the panellists’ audition videos with questions and comments from the moderator, other panellists, and the audience. The video clips will be used to enhance the audience’s understanding of the ideas of the plenary participants. This is an exciting opportunity that you do not want to miss!


This sounds great! What do I need to do to participate?

QUALIFICATION: Work of the applicants must meet the two criteria below

  • You must be a student or young professional, 21-35 years old who is directly involved in the applications of Small Sats. The applicant must be a key player directly involved (for example, application developer, lead engineer, systems engineer, principal investigator, co-investigator, project manager, etc.)


ROUND ONE: 15 Seconds of Fame!

By 20 January 2018 (11:59 pm GMT), create a 15-second video telling us very briefly the subject of the project you are working on that you would speak about on the panel and why you should be chosen to address the IAC. The video must be posted on http://www.youtube.com. You must be on screen and be speaking for the full 15 seconds. We will only watch/listen for 15 seconds, so be sure to watch the time of your video! Then complete the Plenary Application at https://tinyurl.com/2018NextGenerationPlenary



Please record your video in a high-quality audio and video format. If you are selected as a panellist, segments of your videos will be used during the plenary and leading up to it to promote the plenary. Please limit special effects and no music. The video is about you, not your video editing skills. Please do not use copyrighted video, images, or music.


ROUND TWO: Three Minutes!

The IAF will select the Round Two subset of candidates from the above and notify all entrants by 3 February 2018. Specific details of Round Two requirements will be sent to the candidates in the notification. Selected candidates will be asked to create and post a three-minute video on a specified YouTube site by 3 March 2018 (11:59 pm GMT).



The IAF will select the finalists from these entries based on their creativity, efficacy of messages and relevance to the plenary topics. We will be looking for concrete descriptions of how you are actively engaged in Small Sat utilization, why this effort is important as well as demonstrating expertise in this area.

The IAF will make the final selection of plenaries for the IAC in Bremen the week of 26 March 2018 and will notify the finalists of its decision by 1 April 2018.


Who Will Sponsor Me to Travel to Bremen?

Plenary participants will be responsible for finding their own sponsor or sponsors for their travel to and accommodations at the IAC. In addition to the obvious sources of sponsorship – yourself and your family, employer or school, and industry contacts – we want to share with you some great programs for students and young professionals that occur in conjunction with the 2018 Bremen IAC. The following are all distinct programs related to the IAC but are not directly related to this plenary opportunity.

  • IAF Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme. See http://www.iaf-grant-programme.org/
  • Space Generation Congress (SGC). Candidates are encouraged to contact the Space Generation Advisory Committee concerning the plans for the SGC event prior to the IAC in Bremen and associated sponsorship opportunities. Visit spacegeneration.org for more information.
  • Space agency education programmes. Students in Europe, Japan and the United States are encouraged to contact ESA, JAXA, and NASA respectively to apply to their space agencies’ student programmes at the IAC in Bremen.
  • The Future Space Leaders Foundation offers grants to students and young professionals in the United States.  More information can be found at http://www.futurespaceleaders.org/about.html
  • Be innovative! Previous Next Generation Plenary panellists have been successful in raising funding through other means such as crowd funding and local community organizations.

For questions, contact ypp@iafastro.org