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Celebrating The ISS And Preparing For The Future

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by Staff Writers
Paris, France (ESA) Apr 16, 2010
Now that the International Space Station is fully operational, the programme partners will gather in Berlin on 19-21 April to discuss the successes and potential of this unique international cooperation.

The International Space Station (ISS) is now almost complete and capable of housing a crew of six astronauts. At times, more than 12 people can work aboard.

One of the most ambitious international projects ever and the largest spacecraft to orbit our planet is ready for at least 10 more years of productive operations.

The Station's success stories will be presented during a three-day symposium at the Hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin beginning 19 April. International speakers will discuss their achievements, the lessons learnt and current projects. The gathering has been convened by ESA Director of Human Spaceflight, Simonetta Di Pippo, on behalf of the ISS international partners.

The speakers of the symposium will include several astronauts, high-level representatives of the participating space agencies and major players from the industry. The keynote speaker on the first day is Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Samuel Ting. Prof Ting is leader of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), a cosmology experiment for capturing the cosmic ray particles for better understanding of the origins of the Universe and the biggest scientific experiment designed for the ISS. Professor Ting will speak about a subject close to his research: the value of the ISS for science.

The first expedition crew, William Shepherd, Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev, who opened a new era in international cooperation by moving into the Station 10 years ago, will also reunite, for the first time, during the symposium.

'ISS for you: citizens first'

The slogan of the symposium reflects the importance of the International Space Station to humankind in general. It is this century's first concrete example of peaceful cooperation, uniting 14 nations.

Benefiting from uninterrupted weightlessness and a privileged vantage point on Earth, the Universe and the space environment, its research facilities cover a wide range of fundamental and applied fields, affecting our daily lives on Earth. It is also a unique testbed to prepare advanced concepts for future exploration missions.

ISS is a classroom in space, inspiring new generations. From it, we can see the fragility of our home planet and the vastness of the Universe. It is at the final frontier, inviting us to explore, learn and use.

As the symposium will show, the Station is benefiting us all.

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