September 30, 2016

French space in Guadalajara for 67th IAC - Jean-Yves Le Gall President of IAF

The 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), the annual gathering of the international space community, came to a close on Friday 30 September in Guadalajara with CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall taking up his post as the new President of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) after a moving handover speech from Kiyoshi Higuchi, the Federation’s President for the last four years.

This year’s IAC once again lived up to expectations, bringing together 5,217 delegates from the international space community, the world of science, academia, agencies and industry. The 67th IAC was marked by the numerous Mars exploration projects presented by space agencies, legacy space industry manufacturers and NewSpace players. At the same time, the world’s heads of space agencies reaffirmed their commitment to continue their unwavering efforts to curb climate change, notably by conceiving and orbiting dedicated climate-monitoring satellites like MicroCarb and MERLIN, and by delivering data acquired by Earth-observing satellites to scientists.

Another key moment of this 67th IAC was the closing session at which Kiyoshi Higuchi of the Japan Aerospace and eXploration Agency (JAXA) handed over as IAF President to CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall, elected unanimously in Jerusalem in October last year. Jean-Yves Le Gall was already the IAF’s Vice-President in charge of Industry Relations. After one year as Incoming President, as stipulated by the IAF’s constitution, he now takes over as President for a three-year term.

On this occasion, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “It is a great honour for me to be taking over as IAF President today. Our Federation plays a fundamental role on the international space stage by bringing together scientists, academia, agency representatives and industry players from all over the world. Indeed, IAC is the only event at which all these people come together every year to advance our knowledge and promote space. I am therefore especially proud to be taking up this post for the next three years after Kiyoshi Higuchi, whom I would like to commend most strongly for overhauling the IAF’s governance and readying it for the challenges that lie ahead. I would also like to thank the IAF’s Bureau and Executive Secretariat for helping me over the last year to prepare for this particularly prestigious function. Lastly, I am extremely proud of the French space community’s role in the success of IAF and IAC, where it has been instrumental in organizing the constructive debates and discussions at this 67th edition, and in this respect my election also recognizes France’s pivotal role in the global space arena.”

Pascale Bresson    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39
Julien Watelet    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 78 37