The 8th Annual International Ilan Ramon Space Conference
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The 8th Annual International Ilan Ramon Space Conference

The 8th Annual International Ilan Ramon Space Conference
For the first time, an unprecedented number of 14 heads of space agencies from prominent countries attended the 8th Annual International Ilan Ramon Space Conference, jointly organized by the Israel Space Agency at the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Fischer Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies.
​This year's conference, which was held from 29th to 31st January 2013 at the Fisher Institute premises in Herzliya, was honored by the presence of the Administrator of NASA Mr. Charles Frank Bolden Jr., astronauts, US Space Command officials, scientists responsible for the "Curiosity" Mars science program, the commander of the Israeli Air Force, members of the European Commission and the UN, space researchers and representatives from the aerospace industries in Israel and abroad.

The Conference honors the memory of the crew of the STS-107 Mission, and in particular the first Israeli astronaut, Colonel Ilan Ramon, a decade since the Columbia disaster.

Amidst the heads of space agencies that attended the event this year: NASA Administrator; the Director-General of the European Space Agency (ESA); the President of the French Space Agency (CNES); the President of the Italian Space Agency (ASI); the President of the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB); the head of the Dutch Space Agency (NSO); the Director-General of the Ukrainian Space Agency (NKAU); the Director of the Czech Space Agency (CSO); the Chairman of Kazakhstan's Space Agency (KazKosmos); the Vice President of the Russian Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS); the Deputy Head of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA); the Deputy Head of the Norwegian Space Agency (NSC); the Chairman of the Danish Space Agency (DTU-Space), and a senior representative of the Chinese Space Agency (CNSA).

The conference opened with greetings from the President of the State of Israel Mr. Shimon Peres (previously recorded), the Israeli Minister of Science and Technology Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, and the Managing Director of Fisher Institute Brig. Gen. (ret.) Asaf Agmon. After the opening, a special session was held about "Marking a Decade to the Israeli Astronaut Project", with the presence of the main officials who were then involved in the project: former Israeli Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Eitan Ben Eliyahu, NASA's 10th Administrator Sean O'Keefe, and former Director of the Israel Space Agency Aby Har-Even. Ilan Ramon Scholarships were granted to outstanding young researchers in space sciences by the Minister of Science and Technology; the Director-General of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr. Menachem Greenblum; the Director of the Israel Space Agency, Mr. Menachem Kidron; and Ms. Rona Ramon. The session was closed with a special lecture by NASA Administrator Mr. Charles Bolden, on "The Future of Space Exploration".

Other sessions within the conference delt with the hot topics in the field of space: security challenges in space, space exploration, entrepreneurship and innovation in space, space policies, industry and space technologies, science and technology at the service of space and many others.

Among the numerous guests from abroad that participated at the conference: Lt. Gen. Susan J. Helms from USA Air Force Space Command; Dr. Paul Weisenberg, Deputy DG for Development and Industry at the European Commission; Dr. Mazlan Othman, Director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (NOOSA); NASA astronaut Col. Randy Bresnik; Prof. Walter Peeters, president of the International Space University; Prof. Brendt Feuerbacher, former president of the International Astronautical Federation; Mr. Christian Feichtinger, DG of the International Astronautical Federation, and representatives of companies such as SpaceX, Ukrainian Yuzhnoi, Virgin Galactic, EMMERPLUS and many others. 

Among the Israeli guests that attended and delivered their lectures at the conference: IAF Commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel; Prof. Ehud Behar, head of the Asher Space Research Institute at the Technion; Prof. Eyal Ben-Dor from Tel Aviv University and the most conspicuous representatives of Israel's space industry.

During the third day of the conference a series of round table discussions were held, covering a variety of subjects such as satellite vulnerability; small satellites, minimizing components and space systems; new paradigms in satellite launchers and others.

The Ilan Ramon Conference is held annually as the main event in memory of the victims of the space shuttle Columbia, close to the date of the annual memorial ceremony in honor of the first Israeli astronaut, Colonel Ilan Ramon. The conference became a central meeting point for science and space leaders from around the world. Parallel to the conference sessions, a large professional exhibition of the space leading industries in Israel and the world will be displayed.

For full program and other details, please visit:
About the Israeli Space Agency at the Ministry of Science and Technology
The Israel Space Agency (ISA) is responsible for the advancement of space Research and Development in Israel for civilian use. The Agency initiates and implements projects in space based on international cooperation together with the Israel space community in academic institutions and the local space industry.
For further information about the Ministry of Science and Technology, please visit our website

About Fisher Institute
The Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies was founded in 1999 by the Air Force Association that connects former Israeli Air Force personnel, in order to encourage and conduct research and thinking in the fields of air and space. The Institute is located at the Israel Air Force Center in Herzliya, and mainly deals with performing research, organizing conferences and seminars, and maintaining databases in the field of aerospace open to the public. It comprises research centers in various fields: Flight Safety Research Center, Center for Space and UAV, Air Force Research Centre in Asymmetrical Warfare and a Center for Aviation Medicine.
The Institute is led by Brigadier General (Res.) Asaf Agmon. More information is available at
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