Public Day

Interested in joining us for Public Day?


SPACE: The Power of the Past, The Promise of the Future

In 2019 humanity is celebrating the 50th anniversary of a feat once thought impossible: humans walking on the moon. In the past half-century, this inspiration has driven our collective quest to explore the unknown and expand the boundaries of our existence.

In October 2019, the global aerospace community – engineers, scientists, educators, students, policymakers, executives – will descend on Washington DC to envision what that “next giant leap” in space will be…and we want you to be a part of the conversation! 

The International Astronautical Congress (IAC) is the annual event that brings together all of the players in the development and exploration of outer space. This prestigious event has not been held in the United States since 2002 and there could be no better time or place to have it return to the US than 2019 in Washington DC.

As a part of this week-long celebration, the general public is enthusiastically invited to participate in the Congress on:
Friday, 25 October at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center!


  • Space enthusiasts
  • Families
  • School classes
  • STEM groups
  • Anyone who wants to see all of the cool stuff going on in space!


  • Ever wondered what it’s like to live and work in space? Participate in a live downlink with astronauts on the International Space Station!
  • Want to know what it takes to become an astronaut? Ask during a live Q&A with astronauts from around the world!
  • Curious about how the reality of Apollo 11 compares to science fiction? We’ll have a conversation with Sci-Fi writers and engineers to discuss this topic!
  • Want to discover how students and citizen scientists are actively engaged in learning about space and participating in space-related projects? Experience demonstrations of exciting hands-on experiments from around the world!
  • Ever see a rocket engine up close? Dreamed about what a trip to space would feel like? Experience and explore over 200,000 square feet of displays and interactive exhibits to learn more about where we’re headed in space!


  • 25 October 2019
  • Doors open at 7:30 AM
  • Programming beings at 8:30 with a session covering late breaking news, that speaker will be announced closer to the event.
  • The exhibit hall opens at 9:00 for tours
  • At 9:45 there will be a live downlink from the International Space Station followed by an astronaut panel with live audience Q&A
  • Starting at 11:30 you’ll hear from the rockets scientists building the next generation of space vehicles that will return us to the Moon and take us on to Mars
  • At 1:30 there will be an opportunity to hear from scifi writers and engineers to hear how they learn from one another


  • Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Mount Vernon Place Entrance


  • Because it’s not every day that the global space industry is gathered in your backyard!
  • Because we can all use a little inspiration and space is inspiring!
  • Because the promise of the future begins with young people!
  • Because space is cool!