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AIAA Becomes Secretariat for the International Committee on Technical Interchange for Space Mission Operations and Ground Data Systems.

RESTON, Va., June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Committee on Technical Interchange for Space Mission Operations and Ground Data Systems (SpaceOps Organization, also known as the SpaceOps Committee) announced today that it has entered into a cooperative agreement with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). This agreement will designate AIAA as the secretariat for the SpaceOps Organization and will serve as a foundation for associated services to be identified in the future. Through this arrangement, AIAA will provide secretarial, treasurer, and promotional services for the SpaceOps Organization.

"The SpaceOps Organization looks forward to its cooperative relationship with AIAA. With AIAA's professional capabilities, SpaceOps hopes to enhance its visibility and increase its attractiveness to academic institutions and industrial operators," said Rolf Mamen, of the Canadian Space Agency and co- chair of the SpaceOps Executive Committee.

SpaceOps is an international and multi-disciplinary organization dedicated to exploring all aspects of space mission operations and their ground-based systems, and in promoting and maintaining an international community of experts from government, academia and industry.

The space agencies that are members of the SpaceOps include: Canadian Space Agency, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, Deutsche Forschungsanstalt fur Luft und Raumfahrt, European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, European Space Agency, Indian Space Research Organisation, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, Italian Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Russian Space Agency. Various academic institutions and industrial companies participate in the SpaceOps Organization as well.

"AIAA is excited to provide secretariat and support services to the SpaceOps Organization. We believe AIAA can help advance the goals of SpaceOps and better serve this important community," stated AIAA President Donald W. Richardson.

The SpaceOps Organization serves as a central forum and catalyst for facilitating the sharing and dissemination of managerial and technical information in the field of space operations. SpaceOps holds biennial conferences that are hosted and organized by a selected space agency. The first conference was held in 1990 and sponsored by ESA. The most recent conference was held in Montreal in May 2004 and sponsored by the Canadian Space Agency. The 2002 conference was an associated event of the AIAA- organized World Space Congress. As part of the cooperative agreement in the future, AIAA could serve as event planner and management organization for the Space Ops conferences and exhibits in co-operation with the selected host space agency. For more information about the SpaceOps organization and its activities, visit http://www.spaceoperations.org/.

Other areas of cooperation include coordination and integration of activities between the SpaceOps Organization and the Space Operations and Support Technical Committee (SOSTC), one of AIAA's 67 technical committees that cover the various aerospace disciplines. The SOSTC addresses issues associated with space operations and space transportation systems, including technology development and integration into existing systems. "The new relationship between the SOSTC and SpaceOps will benefit both organizations," said SOSTC Chair Trevor Sorensen. "It will bring a worldwide perspective to the activities of the technical committee. And it will provide a forum for the SpaceOps community to address issues through our annual workshop on improving space operations and communicate ideas and research through the SOSTC online publication, Space Operations Communicator." For more information about the AIAA SOSTC, visit http://www.aiaa.org/tc/sos/.

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is the largest technical society for aerospace professionals worldwide, devoted to the progress of science and engineering in both aviation and space. Headquartered in suburban Washington, DC, AIAA serves over 35,000 members in 65 regional sections and 79 countries. The Institute addresses the needs of engineers, scientists and allied professionals who conceive, design, develop, test, construct, and operate air and space vehicles, their associated systems and subsystems, as well as the educators who train the professionals, researchers who continuously renew the technology, managers who lead their efforts and innovators who bring forth new concepts. AIAA is the U.S. voting member in both the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS). For more information about AIAA, visit http://www.aiaa.org/.

CONTACT: Kathy Watkins, Communications of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, +1-703-264-3847, or kathyw@aiaa.org

Web site: http://www.aiaa.org/ http://www.spaceoperations.org/
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