Texas A&M and TEES to take part in XXXII Association of Space Explorers Planetary Congress in fall 2019

July 25, 2016
| By: Aubrey Bloom

Texas A&M University and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s Institute for Engineering Education and Innovation (IEEI) will lead the educational outreach component for the XXXII Association of Space Explorers (ASE) Planetary Congress to be held in Houston, Texas, in October 2019. The 2019 Congress, the largest international gathering of space explorers in the world, will honor the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing.

During the weeklong event, the ASE Planetary Congress will engage local educators, students and leaders in business, science and research in critical discussion on issues of broad interest to the international space community, government agencies around the world and the public. The only professional association for astronauts and cosmonauts in the world, ASE’s event will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon, as well as to help inspire the future of space exploration.

Since its founding in 1985, the ASE has held its Planetary Congress in the United States only three times.

Texas A&M and TEES will organize a statewide “Community Day” during the Congress. Other participants include Space Center Houston, the Lone Star Flight Museum, Rice University, and the University of Houston. ASE members will make visits to schools, universities—including Texas A&M University System member campuses—and communities throughout Texas to generate public awareness for the importance of human space flight and its past and future technological contributions to mankind, including the development of computers, health technologies; navigation, communication, agricultural, environmental and weather satellites; new materials; solar energy; and much more. K-12 and university students/teachers throughout the state will also be invited to participate in various Congress activities as part of its ongoing STEM education outreach.

“We are thrilled to be part of such an important milestone event,” said Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar, director of IEEI and TEES Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M. “The Planetary Congress gives us a wonderful opportunity to reach out to students and the public, and to share with them the science and engineering behind space exploration. We hope to generate excitement and interest not only in space, but also about all other STEM related careers.”

This prestigious global event gets underway this fall with a three-year STEM education outreach initiative designed to engage local students and educators in discovering the challenges, opportunities and benefits of space exploration leading up to the Congress. Information will be available through IEEI.

For more information on the ASE and its Planetary Congress, visit http://www.space-explorers.org/

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