Friday, October 23, 2009

South Korea - Day 3

Our third day in Korea was Monday - the first day of the International Astronautical Congress. The day began with opening ceremonies at 10am. It seemed like the Korean delegation went all out putting it together. The ceremonies began and ended with a number of cultural performances, including drumming, singing, and dancing. One of the MCs for the event was Soyeon Yi, the Korean astronaut. highlight, however, was a speech by the President of South Korea. Showing off their technical prowess, each chair in the auditorium included a headset that translated the speeches into eight different languages.

The main event of the day was a panel by the heads of major world space organizations - USA, Russia, Canada, ESA, India, Japan, and Korea, which was pretty interesting. They all went over future plans and reinforced the importance of international collaboration.

In the evening there was another big opening ceremonies event - this time outdoors at the Deajeon Expo Park. There was a choir, a taekwondo performance, and the mayor of Daejeon came out dressed in a space suit and pronounced Daejeon a "Space Municipal City." This was all followed by fireworks. Quite an experience.

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