X Congress of the Association of Space Explorers
Moscow and Lake Baikal, Russia
August 9-16, 1994

The next day, the delegations flew to the shores of Lake Baikal in Siberia to continue their work and to convene the second portion of the theme session “Space and Ecology”. ASE's Russian hosts organized a marathon boat trip across Lake Baikal to impress upon the assembled fliers the beauty, uniqueness and fragility of the Baikal eco-system. In the nearby city of Ulan-Ude, capital of the Russian republic of Buryatia, ASE opened the next phase of the two-part theme session. Local scientists involved in the study of Lake Baikal as well as government officials were invited to discuss the potential usefulness of space-based platforms in protecting Lake Baikal. ASE members delivered presentations on a variety of environmental issues: John Creighton spoke on atmospheric pollution and their recently proven destructive effects on the Earth's ozone layer; Mary Cleave described the international aspects of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth; Bertalan Farkas concluded with a briefing on ASE's activities in the environmental field.

While in Buryatia, the delegations traveled to the Buryatia Science Center, an agricultural research collective and the Ivolgin Buddhist Monastery, the center of Tibetan Buddhism on the territory of Russia. Members also visited with the President of Buryatia, attended a local press conference and met with Ulan-Ude's citizens to discuss the work of the Congress.

Upon their return to Moscow, the delegated convened their annual business session. Among the items on the agenda were the election of Fred Gregory and Viktor Savinykh to succeed Igor Volk and John Fabian in the international executive committee, the approval of ASE-USA's initiative to develop a photographic exhibition depicting fragile eco-systems suffering environmental degradation, the adoption of a General Statement in support of intensified international efforts to protect the environment and the unanimous endorsement of Miroslaw Hermaszewski's proposal to host the Eleventh Congress in Poland. Additionally, the assembly heard an appeal from Frederick Gregory for a marked increase in Russian involvement in quality oversight during the development of hardware for the international space station. The membership also agreed to support Byron Lichtenberg's motion to endorse the “X Prize”, a program designed to stimulate private industry development of a reusable single-stage sub-orbital passenger vehicle.

As the work of the Tenth Congress drew to a close, ASE members were invited to participate in the opening ceremonies of the International Aerospace Congress `94 in Moscow. ASE members Buzz Aldrin, Mary Cleave and Alexei Leonov spoke at the IAC on behalf of the organization. In a moving and inspirational address, Aldrin spoke of the of the rationales which have been unsuccessfully employed to justify human space exploration. Aldrin declared that the only real justification for sending humans to Mars was man's instinctual imperative to explore. Cleave reported on the work of the Tenth ASE Congress and reiterated ASE members' concern for the environment and for Lake Baikal in particular.

On the final day of the Congress, the delegates visited a Moscow space art and artifact exhibition and toured Star City cosmonaut training facilities. In the evening, Valentina Gagarina accepted ASE's annual Planetary Award, the Crystal Helmet, on behalf of her deceased husband Yuri for his pioneering role in human space exploration. ASE also presented ASE Medallions to Russian Space Agency Director Yuri Koptev in recognition of his leadership in founding the Agency and expanding its international activities, and to a representative of Norwegian ecologist Thor Heyerdal for his pioneering work in expanding environmental awareness, and to John Fabian for his long and committed service as a member of the ASE Executive Committee.




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