Nair to head international aerospace body

Panaji, Aug 31 ( Indian Space Research Organisation chairman G. Madhavan Nair has been elected as the president of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), becoming the only Indian and the first non-American to head the renowned scientific body, an official said here Monday.

Nair, who is presently IAA’s vice president for scientific activities, will take over from Edward Stone, during the International Astronautical Congress to be held in Korea later this year, IAA secretary general J.M. Contant said.

The announcement was made at a conference on low cost planetary missions held here.

Contant said that Nair’s election was a result of a postal ballot count. Nair’s term as IAA president will be till 2011.

The IAA was founded in Sweden in 1960 and aims to foster development of astronautics for peaceful purposes, recognize individuals who have distinguished themselves in a related branch of science or technology and provide a programme through which members may contribute to international endeavours for the advancement of aerospace science.