International Astronautical Federation IAF

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

International Astronautical Federation (IAF)


an international scientific organization concerned with research problems and the development of space exploration for peaceful purposes, including rocket technology and the legal status of space. Founded in 1950 at the first International Astronautical Congress in Paris by representatives from eight countries (Austria, Argentina, Great Britain, Denmark, Spain, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, and Sweden), the IAF currently includes (1973) 58 national organizations from 36 countries. In those cases when one government (for example, the USA, the Federal Republic of Germany, or France) is represented by several national organizations, only one of them has the right to vote. The constitution of the IAF was adopted at the Third International Astronautical Congress, held in Stuttgart. The USSR has been a member since 1956 and is represented by the Commission for the Study and Utilization of Space (formerly the Commission for Interplanetary Communications) of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.

The highest organ of the IAF is the general assembly, which is convened annually at the same time as the regular international astronautical congress. Day-to-day activity is directed by the bureau. Since 1950, the federation has organized annual international astronautical congresses, at which the participants exchange results of scientific studies associated with space exploration. In addition to the congresses, the IAF organizes symposia. It has also set up several permanent and temporary committees and commissions (on bioastronautics, documentation, questions of education). The International Academy of Astronautics and the International Institute of Space Law have functioned since 1960 within and under the direction of the IAF. The federation maintains close ties with organizations concerned with problems of space research and has consultative status with UNESCO and the International Telecommunication Union.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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