The 10th International Space Conference on “Protection of Materials and Structures from Space Environment” ICPMSE-10J is organised jointly by Japan and ITL Inc. (Integrity Testing Laboratory) Canada. The Conference is being held from June 12 - 17, 2011 at Bankoku-Shinryokan Conference Center in Okinawa, Japan. The Conference is advocated and sponsored by a number of Canadian, Japanese and International organizations and institutions. The goals of this meeting, as in the past years, are to facilitate exchanges between members of the various engineering and science disciplines involved in the development of space materials, including aspects of space environment of LEO, GEO and Deep Space, ground-based qualification, and in-flight experiments and lessons learned from operational vehicles that are closely interrelated to disciplines of atmospheric sciences, solar-terrestrial interactions and space life sciences.
The knowledge of environmental conditions at and around Moon, Mars, Venus and the low Earth orbit as well as other possible candidates for landing such as asteroids, as announced recently by the USA President became an important issue. Protection of the hardware and the human life from the factors of the space environment is getting new meaning in light of the increased interest in space travel and colonization of other planets.
The ICPMSE meetings have been conducted in Canada and jointly with the International Symposium on Materials in Space Environment (ISMSE) in Europe. With the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) solidly putting Japan among the leading space nations through its contributions to the development of man-made satellites, launch vehicles, the astronaut program and the Japanese Experimental module for ISS, it is a natural development of bringing the ICPMSE meeting to Japan.
This year marks a remarkable achievement for ICPMSE: its 10th meeting. Since the first meeting in 1992, the conference has grown steadily, attracting a large number of engineers, scientists, researchers and managers from industrial companies, scientific institutions and government agencies in North and South Americas, Asia and Europe, thus becoming a true international event.
Over the past 50 years, starting with the launch of the first Sputnik, humans have made significant strides in space exploration. Over 80 countries have worked together to send robotic spacecraft to nearly all planets of our solar system that is a remarkable example of the worldwide effort and cooperation that made these achievements possible. We believe that the growing spirit of collaboration, linked to the growing number of nations and organizations involved in space and the increasing scope of global space activity, will provide the framework required for even greater accomplishments.
With the International Space Station being presently the largest international science collaboration in space, where USA, Japan, Canada, Russia, and European Space Agency’s 11 countries have come together to build and inhabit the station, the international space community is looking already into more ambitious space exploration plans that will see the first spacecraft to visit the dwarf planet Pluto and its moon Charon in 2016-2017.
And while many material experiments were carried out in the last 50 years (LDEF, MEEP, SARE, MISSE, AOP, DSPSE, ESEM, EURECA, HST, MDIM, MIS, MPID, and MPAC&SEED), many questions regarding the environmental impact of space on materials remain unanswered. The coming generations of scientists will have to continue this work and tackle new challenges, continuing to build the wall of confidence allowing humans to continue the colonization of space. And we hope that ICPMSE-10J will be a small stone in that wall.
As Dr. Scott Horowitz, an American Astronaut that flew on four space shuttle missions put it in one of his talks in 2006 “..Although humankind’s first steps onto another world were taken by a dozen early explorers from America, it will take all of our nations, working together, to accomplish the great endeavor of space exploration that lies before us and to enable future generations of explorers to do the things we can only imagine today”.
Jacob Kleiman,
General Chairperson of ICPMSE-10J
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