About ASE

ASE stands for Association of Space Explorers

ASE LogoThe Association of Space Explorers (ASE) was founded in 1985 by small group of US, Russian and international fliers who met in Cernay, France. ASE is an international non-profit professional and educational organization of over 400 flown astronauts and cosmonauts from 37 nations. ASE supports the advancement of space exploration by providing opportunities for communication among space professionals at the international level and seeks to stimulate interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and inspire in students a life-long commitment to educational excellence. ASE provides its members with opportunities to communicate their unique perspective of Earth to help stimulate humanity’s sense of responsibility for our home planet.

The international ASE coordinates globally the main activities consisting of the annual Planetary Congress, the ASE Near Earth Objects Committee, ASE membership at the International Astronautical Federation, maintains ASE’s Observer Status with the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and to raise environmental awareness.

Group Photo ASE 2015 (c) Adam af Ekenstam

Group photo during ASE 2015 in Sweden (c) Adam af Ekenstam

Planetary Congress

Each year the ASE holds in a different host country the ASE Planetary Congress. The congress is its primary forum for professional exchange among U.S., Russian and international astronauts and cosmonauts. It is designed to promote the exchange of space flight experiences and technical information concerning space operations, scientific research, mission development and astronaut training. Moreover, the congress inspires the next generation of space explorers and the general public in the hosting country as the space fliers a visiting schools, university, associations etc. during the “Community Day”.

ASE Near Earth Objects Committee

COPUOS 2014 in Aktion. Nicht zu jedem Thema sind immer alle Delegierten im Saal.

COPUOS session at the UN in Vienna.

Human society faces a long-term hazard from asteroid and comet impacts on Earth. The chances are very high that our planet will be struck again by a large near-Earth objects (NEO). Recognizing the threat posed by hazardous NEOs, the ASE NEO Commitee is active in promoting global discussions aimed at a near-term capability to prevent a future damaging impact. The goal of the Committee is to bring attention to word leaders and key international institutions the threat of asteroid impacts to life on Earth as well as help planning for NEO deflection.

United Nations

The ASE has observer status at the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS) and on the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). ASE works closely with the UN COPUOS, its Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and Action Team -14 to develop and international response protocol for potential Earth- impacting asteroids.

Scott Kelly photography on Windows on Earth. ISS045e172842

Scott Kelly photography on Windows on Earth. ISS045e172842

International Astronautical Federation

The ASE is a member of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and ASE members and staff participate on the IAF Human Space Exploration and Life Sciences committees.

Environmental Awareness

ASE considers it important to provide its members with opportunities to communicate their unique perspective of Earth to help stimulate humanity’s sense of responsibility for our home planet. One of the activities in support of environmental awareness includes the Windows on Earth project, where astronauts share their photography from space.

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ASE2016 Host & Organizing Team

The ASE XXIX Planetary Congress in Vienna from 03 – 07 October 2016 is hosted by Austria’s cosmonaut Franz Viehböck. He is supported by the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF).

Cosmonaut Franz Viehböck


DI Franz Viehböck

Dr. Gernot Grömer

Project Manager OeWF:

Dr. Gernot Grömer

Conference Team:

Community Day Regional Coordinators:


The ASE XXIX Planetary Congress from 3-7 October in Vienna wouldn’t be possible without the support of our partners. They not only enable us to offer all public sessions for free moreover they support us to bring astronauts, cosmonauts and taikonauts to all federal regions in Austria during the Community Day on 5th October 2016.

Main Partners


FFG logo

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T-Mobile Österreich Logo

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Special gratitude to

The ASE XXIX is organized by:

Logo of the Austrian Space ForumAustrian Space Forum (OeWF)