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Azerbaijan’s Storied Role in Space: Hosting the 74th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2023)

Azerbaijan, a country with a burgeoning interest in space exploration, is set to make history once again. As Adviser to the Minister of Digital Development and Communications of Azerbaijan, Rashad Bayramov, proudly declared, Azerbaijan holds the distinction of being the first country in the region to host the International Astronautical Congress (IAC). Now, in an exciting turn of events, Azerbaijan is preparing to host this prestigious event for the second time in its history, marking a significant milestone not only for the nation but for the entire region.

The 74th International Astronautical Congress is scheduled to take place in Baku from October 2nd to 6th, 2023, reaffirming Azerbaijan’s status as the sole host of this remarkable gathering within the region. This momentous occasion promises to be a vibrant melting pot of ideas, innovations, and collaborations, bringing together scientists, researchers, and space enthusiasts from across the globe.

A striking testament to the global significance of this event is the overwhelming response it has received from the international scientific community. Rashad Bayramov revealed that scientists and researchers from an impressive 95 countries have submitted a staggering 3,532 scientific articles for consideration at the upcoming IAC in Baku. What’s even more noteworthy is 

Azerbaijan’s own contribution to this intellectual exchange, with the country submitting a record-breaking 214 scientific articles. This places Azerbaijan among the top five countries that have submitted the largest number of scientific articles, following the United States, Italy, India, and China.

At its core, the International Astronautical Congress is not just a conference but a catalyst for global cooperation and a wellspring of inspiration. Its objectives encompass the creation of a platform where international collaboration in the field of space can flourish, where knowledge and experiences can be exchanged, and where the latest innovations can be showcased. 

Moreover, the Congress aims to ignite the flames of curiosity and enthusiasm among the youth, nurturing their interest in the boundless possibilities of the space industry.

Baku’s connection with the International Astronautical Congress runs deep, with a history that dates back to 1973. In a visionary move initiated by the national leader Heydar Aliyev, Azerbaijan played host to the 24th International Astronautical Congress from October 7th to 13th of that year. The event bore the motto of “Space research – penetration into science and technology,” and it marked a historic moment for Azerbaijan as it became the first city in the region to organize such an event.

Fast forward to October 25th to 29th, 2019, when history repeated itself on the global stage. At the General Assembly of the International Astronautical Federation held in Washington, Baku secured the honor of hosting the most prestigious event in the International Space Industry once again. With this victory, Azerbaijan’s destiny was sealed, and the 74th International Astronautical Congress was awarded to the capital city of Baku.

Under the auspices of the Azerbaijan Space Agency – Azercosmos OJSC, the 74th International Astronautical Congress will convene in Baku from October 2nd to 6th, 2023. The Congress is aptly themed “Global challenges and opportunities: Let’s give chance to space,” encapsulating the essence of space exploration and the pivotal role it plays in addressing the world’s most pressing challenges.

Azercosmos OJSC, as a prominent player in Azerbaijan’s space endeavors, owns two communication satellites – Azerspace-1 and Azerspace-2 – in addition to the low-orbit satellite Azersky. The company’s contribution to the space industry is underscored by its 2022 income of $26.6 million generated from the sale of satellite and telecommunications services.

As the countdown to IAC 2023 in Baku begins, Azerbaijan’s resolute commitment to the field of space exploration shines brightly. This historic event promises not only to unite minds from across the globe but also to inspire the next generation of space pioneers, ensuring that space continues to be a frontier of exploration and collaboration for the betterment of humanity.


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