The Olympic Games of space are coming to Mexico when, for the first time in its history, the International Aeronautical Congress (IAC) is held in September in Guadalajara.
The state capital Jalisco will host IAC 2016 between September 26 and 30, which is expected to attract 3,000 delegates from around the world.
Organized by the Mexican Space Agency (AEM), the congress will be preceded by an event known as Space Generation, regarded as the Olympic Games of space.
With the support of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), Space Generation will introduce worldwide leaders in the aerospace industry to the ingenuity of young Mexicans aged 18-35, with the goal of creating multinational networks and projects.
AEM general director Javier Mendieta Jiménez said that one major goal of the event is to educate youths who will become the future leaders in their field, while stimulating their passion for space, study, science and technology.
Mendieta described Space Generation as an olympiad of knowledge and the space industry where the greatest minds of the field meet, giving young Mexicans a “vital” opportunity.
“The new generations in the field . . . will be able to create personal bonds with the most prominent players in the industry and with the public policy creators,” said Mendieta, who believes those bonds are essential in “this digital era that’s revolutionizing the world.”
In a break with tradition the youths will have the chance to sit down and interact with industry leaders, presenting their ideas in hands-on working groups.
At last year’s event, Mexican youths won three of the six categories in the Mars Trekker Global Teen Summit, organized by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States (NASA), prevailing over 120 teenagers from around the globe in disciplines such as robotics.
Among the industry leaders at IAC 2016 will be SpaceX CEO and business magnate, engineer and inventor Elon Musk, who will reportedly unveil his new super-heavy rocket and spacecraft for a Mars mission, along with his plans for a city on the red planet.
“I thought that would be a good venue to describe what we think would be a good approach . . . something that would be effective for establishing a city on Mars. I think it’s going to sound pretty crazy,” said Musk about his Mars plans.