AstronautiCON IV will take place from November 20 to 22, 2009 in Lecco, on the shore of Lake Como in northern Italy. NASA astronaut Michael Fincke will be the guest of honor. AstronautiCON IV is the 4th annual convention of the Italian online space forum ForumAstronautico.it (@fait).

ForumAstronautico.it is the largest and most active online community of Italian space enthusiasts. It was founded in 2005 by Marco Zambianchi (@marcozambi) and currently has over 900 members. We have been meeting at AstronautiCON since 2006. Previous AstronautiCONs had some well known space professionals as guests of honor, like former ESA astronaut Umberto Guidoni in person and MER rover driver Paolo Bellutta via teleconference. Besides having the right stuff (he is an active astronaut, has been an ISS commander and did a Star Trek cameo), we will be happy to have Fincke for another reason. On March 27, 2009, he did an ARISS radio contact with a school near Lecco, and he will be able to meet the students he talked to.

There is another reason why AstronautiCON is interesting: the ForumAstronautico.it members, who are an active and lively online community and give talks at the event. Our members span all levels of interest and involvement in space, from school kids and space geeks to professionals such as Paolo Bellutta and others who work in the aerospace industry.

In 2007, a forum member who later had a significant space-related career shift attended AstronautiCON. This time she won’t be able to drop by, but we will gladly forgive her.

Update: the official AstronautiCON IV Twitter hashtag is #Acon4