Gagarin 50

April 12 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the first man in space - Yuri Gagarin took off in the Vostok 1 spacecraft and circled the earth for 1:48 hours until he returned savely.

Conference: The Future of Space Exploration

On this occasion this website prepares an

Thanks to the participants - we had an interesting debate!


The Future of Space Exploration shall discuss the current and medium-term plans and projects for human space exploration.

  • After the abandoning of the Space Shuttle the US announced a shift to privately developed launch vehicles - the COTS program. Will we see a second space age based on the commercial strategy?
  • What are concrete or realistic milestones for future flight of humans in space?
  • What are the perspectives for international cooperation (or coopetition)?
  • What is the role of non-government organisations (like Lunar X Prize or Mars Society) and public culture?

Apart from this topic we want to gather information about events being held on this occasion worldwide, scientific as well as in public culture.


These are the participants for the expert part of the conference:

  • Dr. Marie-Luise Heuser
    University lecturer in philosophy, main research interests in philosophy of science, culture, technology and arts. Leader of the interdisciplinary project „spaceflight and culture“ since 2004 (, Executive Director of the „Society for Spaceflight and Culture“ since 2010 (
    ⇒ Statement on Culture and Space Exploration
  • Jürgen Herholz
    Graduate engineer, system and project management functions in space projects since 1972 - Helios, Spacelab, Eureca, Ariane and Hermes. Joined 1987 the European Space Agency ESA. Member of the Mars Society Deutschland (MSD) since 2002.
  • Neven Dološ
    Entrepreneur and Scientist, founder of the Open Moon team participating in the Google Lunar X Prize. Private Space Exploration Evangelist.
  • Robert Zubrin
    Aerospace engineer and author, president of the Mars Society and Pioneer Astronautics, holds master's degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering; most known for his publications and evangelism of a manned Mars Mission.
  • Petr Bystrov
    Independent artist, performer, curator and teacher; member of the international art group Radek Community, graduated philosopher of Russian State University for Humanities, editor of Stone Milk magazine and visiting professor at NABA (New Academy of Fine Arts), Milan, Italy; curator of Enduring Futurism.


The conference will have two parts:

  1. Expert round, with invited authors working actively in related projects - duration 60 minutes - start 18:00
  2. Public round, where everyone may ask the experts or discuss openly - start 19:00 - duration another 60 to 90 min.

The experts will have the option to present prepared statements before the conference starts. There will also be a "sandbox" installation and email and telephone support in order to get acquainted with the software in advance.
The conference will be moderated, i.e. introductory questions asked and the course of discussion gently managed.

The conference language is english.
The starting time on April 12 has been set for 18:00 CEST (central european summer time).
All participants carry their own costs, expecting mutual benefits through publicity and contacts.
The conference texts will remain available on the internet and can be referred to later.


The conference is purely text based. International live audio or video conferences on the internet often experience technical issues, while the text form allows later search and research without the need to produce a separate documentation.
Technically the conference will be based on a normal internet forum software, with the only difference being the time restriction.
Taking part in the conference will thus be possible with any internet connected computer.


We organize and connect Gagarin parties, scheduled events:


The WP8 club hosts a Gagarin event, with lectures, video and entertainment


Tag der Raumfahrt: P.A.N.D.A. Theater, Knaackstr. 97 (Kulturbrauerei Hof), Berlin-mitte - 18 - 23:30 Uhr


This site and the conference is organized by Bernd Brincken, a space activist from Berlin, Germany.

Other related projects with my involvement:

Partner & Associates:

Other online and offline projects on the Yuri Gagarin anniversary, without organisational connection to us:


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