On the Sunday preceding the official opening of the third Congress, ASE members had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the rich cultural history of Mexico with a visit to the ancient Aztec Templo Mayor, the beautifully adorned Palacio Nacional and the elegant Bellas Artes building where they attended the Ballet Folklorico, a history of the land and its people rendered through music and dance.
Monday morning, the members were cordially welcomed by Mexico City Mayor Ramon Aguirre Velazquez; the Congress was officially declared open by the Secretary of Communication and Transportation Daniel Diaz Diaz. At the opening plenary session, the Executive Committee of the Association gave a report on its decisions and activities over the past year. Alexei Leonov (USSR) reported on the recent International Space Future Forum held in Moscow on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik, humanity's first artificial satellite. Taylor Wang (US) suggested that the Association decide during the week what role it should play in advocating international cooperation in space. As a result of his initiative, Wang was chosen to chair a new congress working group on space cooperation. After the opening session the members divided into four working groups: Space Cooperation, Current Projects, Organization and Finance and the Executive Committee.
That evening the fliers converged on the Museum of Technology to inaugurate an art exhibit titled "Space and Cosmic Man", specially assembled for the third Congress. Featured at the exhibit were three collections of space art, including "Conscious Evolution: The World at One" by American artist Angela Manno, "Space Landscape" by Mexican artist Raymundo Martinez, and "Cosmic Humanity" by Mexican artist Martin de la Torre. Each of the artists expressed powerful visions of humanity's future in space and the images provided the fliers an opportunity to reflect upon the power of their own experiences in space. After the inauguration the delegations attended a dinner in their honor sponsored by the Museum of Technology.
On Tuesday morning representatives of Addison-Wesley Publishers and editor Kevin Kelley presented the members with an update on ASE's first major project, a book titled "The Home Planet". The book, a collection of dramatic photographs of the Earth accompanied by astronaut and cosmonaut quotations is to be co-published by Addison-Wesley and Mir Publishers of Moscow and is expected to be released in 1988 in several languages. In the afternoon the working groups continued their discussions about the future of ASE, its activities and the role it should carve out for itself in the international dialogue on questions related to human space flight. Tuesday evening the members attended a screening of "For All Mankind", a film in progress by director Al Reinert which uses NASA archive footage to illustrate the story of the Apollo program.
Wednesday morning the working groups completed their discussions, and in the afternoon the members gathered in plenum to hear reports from group chairmen Vladimir Dzanibekov (USSR), Dumitru Prunariu (Romania) and Taylor Wang (US). Dzanibekov reported that the Current Projects group had given the green light to continued work on the Association's first book as well as to continuation of the joint astronaut/cosmonaut lecture series. Suggestions for new projects included the establishment of a central ASE resource and data repository, the development of ASE stamps and medals, a travelling exhibit based on "The Home Planet" and a documentary film project capturing the space explorers' perspectives on space, life and philosophy.
Taylor Wang (US) then presented his group's proposals on how the ASE should promote international cooperation in space. The group agreed that ASE could play a significant role in facilitating trust in the international space community, and that the first steps toward sustained cooperation should be modest and carefully conceived. Oleg Atkov (USSR) invited the members to consider two additional ideas discussed by the Cooperation Group: one, a possible book laying out the members' ideas on a manned Mars mission and the other the promotion of alternative forms of medicine for use in long-duration space flights. Dumitru Prunariu (Romania) reported on his group's recommendations that the ASE develop a permanent finance committee to determine how proceeds from various projects should be distributed. The group also put the finishing touches on the ASE Charter.