Published on November 4, 2020

IAC 2021 Call for Session Proposals and Abstracts

You are all invited to contribute to the programme of the IAC 2021 to be held in Dubai from 25 to 29 October 2021!

The IAF’s International Astronautical Congress embraces an inclusive approach that is community-driven, engaged, and accessible for everyone. We support the diversity that our congress participants bring by providing a variety of ways for people to engage.

You are all invited to contribute to the programme of the IAC 2021 to be held in Dubai from 25 to 29 October 2021!

The guide “How to Engage at IAC” include timetables and application processes, listed by proposal type. This document provides stakeholders and potential applicants with appropriate and high-quality information about the programme, the options and conditions for the development of their proposal ideas into full-fledged proposals and the assessment and selection procedures for proposals. For general information on who can apply, how to apply and FAQs, please see the respective sections.

Deadline for submitting proposals is Friday 12 February 2021 at 23:59 CET.

To avoid the allocation of the same proposal for multiple types of formats (Plenary, HLL, IAF GNF or Special Session), each proposal can be submitted only once. If you have any doubts or need confirmation about the most appropriate format type for your proposal, please contact us at

Bear in mind that it is possible that you may be requested to modify one or several aspects of your proposal in order to fit it into the framework of the IAC’s Programme.

Proposal Formats

Plenaries and Highlight Lectures

Do you want to present a topic of general scientific or technological interest? Are you a scientific or a technical expert with a solid knowledge of the latest space-related topics? Submit your proposal for a Plenary or Highlight Lecture, and you can be selected to present in front of a large audience during the five days of the IAC. The Plenary events are selected by the IPC Steering Group in a well-defined competitive selection process. You can find all necessary information on the selection criteria and the submission form on the IAF Website at the following link: Plenaries and Highlight Lectures proposals must be submitted to the IAF Secretariat at

IAF Global Networking Forum Sessions (IAF GNF)

The IAF GNF offers a unique opportunity to all IAF Members and future Members to participate actively and showcase their latest developments in front of a widely engaged audience. The aim of the IAF GNF is to provide Congress participants with a varied programme throughout the week, touching upon the most recent and hot topics in space, and to provide a one-of-a kind visibility experience for the organizers. IAF GNF sessions will be selected and placed thematically within the overall programme, and will be divided in three timeslots: 30 minutes, 45 minutes and 60 minutes. Additionally, don’t forget that you can actively support the GNF by sponsoring your session!

The IAF GNF Proposal Form is available for download on the IAF Website at the following link

IAF GNF proposals must be submitted to the IAF Secretariat at

Special Sessions (SpS)

The goal of these special sessions is to provide a forum for focused discussions on new technical and multidisciplinary topics and provide opportunities for audience engagement. Special Session will be mainly evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Special Sessions must be participatory and shall propose an interactive format such as workshops, campfires, fishbowls, design sprints etc. Opportunities for audience participation in the discussion must be demonstrated. Standard formats such as panels will not be considered.

  • Special Sessions shall complement the regular Technical Programme with multidisciplinary topics that highlight current scientific and technical trends in space.

Special Session proposals must be submitted online at Questions about Special Sessions? Contact us at

Call for Abstracts

The Call for Abstracts is a precursor to a subsequent submission of a final paper, which may be presented at the 72nd IAC. Authors are invited to submit an abstract regarding an original, unpublished paper that has not been submitted in any other forum. Papers can be submitted for either formal oral presentation or interactive presentation.

All selected papers will be treated as equally important in the presentation sessions and Congress Proceedings, differing only in the format of the presentation sessions (in other words, Oral Presentation papers will NOT be considered more important than Interactive Presentation papers). Abstracts must be submitted online at by 28 February 23:59 CET and shall fit into one of the following IAC categories:

Science and Exploration – Systems sustaining missions, including life, microgravity, space exploration, space debris and Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI)
Applications and Operations – On-going and future operational applications, including earth observation, communication, navigation, human space endeavors and small satellites
Technology – Common technologies to space systems including astrodynamics, structures, power and propulsion
Infrastructure – Systems sustaining space missions including space system transportation, future systems and safety
Space and Society – Interaction of space with society including education, policy and economics, history and law, space security and space arts

For more information about the abstract submission process, please check

We look forward to receiving your contributions to be presented at IAC 2021 in Dubai!