Starting on 26 September, Guadalajara in Mexico will host the 67th International Astronautical Congress, the annual global convention that covers all aspects of space activities. 

ESA’s Director General Jan Woerner will join the heads of the Canadian, US, Japanese, Russian, Indian and Mexican space agencies for a plenary session in the afternoon of the first day at the Guadalajara Hall 4,5,6,9&10. They will discuss and present the latest advances and breakthroughs in space exploration and share their views on the benefits of international cooperation – this year’s theme is “Space exploration: the past, present and future”.

The media will have the opportunity immediately afterwards to question the space leaders directly.

Jan Woerner will also hold an ESA press conference on 27 September at 15:00 in room Desfilia.

Roesetta’s end of mission

The world’s most famous spacecraft – Rosetta – will end its mission on 30 September with a descent towards the comet it has been circling for the last two years. The final moments of this historic mission will be broadcast live from ESA’s mission control in Germany on the web and shown to audiences at the congress from the Guadaljara Hall 8. Jan Woener as well as the heads of the German, French and Italian space agencies will attend the event, and other ESA and German Space Center specialists will be at hand for interviews.

Other highlights of the congress include a presentation of the new Ariane 6 and Vega C launchers by Stephane Israël, Chairman of Arianespace, together with Jan Woerner on 27 September in Guadalajara Hall 8.

Starting at 10:30 on 29 September Jan Woerner will hold a ‘jam session’ – an open discussion on curiosity and inspiration in the Guadaljara Hall 8. His short introduction will open the floor to the participants to give their views.

Over the four-day event, space agencies and commercial launch companies will hold sessions on their activities and plans. A full programme and more information can be found on the congress website at

The International Astronautical Congress is organised by the International Astronautical Federation and will take place this year at Guadalajara, Mexico, September 26–30. The congress aims to include all players in space, from students and researchers to industry, press and general public as well as agency officials and policy-makers. 

For the first time, all plenary events will be broadcast live. To view the webcasts go to the International Aeronautical Congress 2016 webcast.