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ADELAIDE /Australia/, September 25. /TASS/. The 68th International Astronautical Congress, organized by the International Astronautical Federation, has begun in the Australian city of Adelaide on Monday. The congress involves over 4,000 representatives of more than 80 countries, including heads of national space agencies, scientists and experts in various fields related to space exploration. The Russian delegation is led by head of the Roscosmos State Space Corporation Igor Komarov.
Numerous bilateral and multilateral meetings, over 200 conferences, symposiums, presentations and seminars on various aspects of space exploration are scheduled to take place during the five-day Congress. A significant number of events will be dedicated to the prospects of exploring the Moon and Mars in the next ten years.
According to a source in the organizing committee, ceremonies will also be held to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s launch of the first artificial satellite (on October 4, 1957) and the 50th anniversary of the Outer Space Treaty (formally called the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies). The document forming the basis of international space law came into effect on October 10, 1967.
Unlike most of the developed countries, Australia has neither a state space program nor an agency tackling issues concerning space exploration. However, two months ago, the country’s Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Arthur Sinodinos said that an expert group would be set up in order to draw up proposals for the establishment of a national space agency. Many Australian experts expect the host country to make some important announcement during the current Congress.
Australia is hosting the International Astronautical Congress for the second time, as the 49th Congress was held in Melbourne in 1998.