Record Cospar Attendance Reflects Diverse Landscape

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The 38th Congress of the Committee on Space Research (Cospar) held July 18-25 in Bremen, Germany, set a record for attendance despite Bremen’s location off the main tourist routes, Cospar organizers said.

With about 3,800 scientists from nearly 60 nations, the meeting surpassed Cospar’s previous record of 3,400 attendees set during the 35th Congress, held in 2004 in Paris, according to Hans J. Rath, the chairman of the Bremen conference and also head of Bremen’s Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity, or Zarm.

Zarm operates Bremen’s 146-meter-tall drop tower that provides several seconds of microgravity conditions for experiments and is a well-known feature of the Bremen skyline.

Roger M. Bonnet, Cospar’s outgoing chairman, said the geographical distribution of the several thousand abstracts submitted to the conference illustrates the changing global space research landscape.

With 154 papers submitted for Cospar review, the United States accounted for the most abstracts from a single nation, as expected. But China (145) and India (114) were close behind, reflecting these nations’ evolution from nations building space hardware to those analyzing the results of space missions.

Led by Italy, with 78 abstracts, individual European nations, particularly France, Germany and Britain, totaled well over 200 abstracts when taken together. Japanese abstracts totaled 47, according to Cospar.