They are an annual meeting of the actors in the discipline of space, and are generally held in late September or early October. They consist of plenary sessions, lectures and meetings. The IAC is attended by the agency heads and senior executives of the world's space agencies.
As the Second World War came to an end, the United States and the Soviet Union began to divide due to their differences in ideology and the governance of their country. As the Cold War began to take shape, communication between the two countries became less frequent. Both countries turned their focus to achieving military superiority over the other.
The International Astronautical Federation was formed six years after the Iron curtain fell by scientists from all over Europe in the field of space research in order to collaborate once more. During the years of the Space Race, the IAF was one of the few forums where members of both East and West Europe could meet during the annual International Astronautical Congresses.
International Astronautical Federation Governance
The International Astronautical Federation is a non-profit non-governmental organization created in 1951. Under French law, the IAF is defined as a federation of member organizations where a General Assembly is responsible for making decisions.
The IAF general Assembly is in charge of governing the Federation. Composed of delegates from every member organization, the assembly is responsible for voting to approve all major decisions regarding the Federation’s rules and regulations as well as the acceptance of new member organizations. The General Assembly meets during the International Astronautical Congress.
This branch is in charge of running the administration of the Federation.
Locations of recent and future International Astronautical Congresses (IAC)
International Astronautical Congresses normally takes place during the first half of October. In 2002 and 2012 the World Space Congress combined the IAC and COSPAR Scientific Assembly.