The Association of Space Explorers is a non-profit organization with a membership composed of people who have completed at least one Earth orbit in space (above 100 km (62 mi), as defined by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale). It was founded in 1985, and the current membership stands at 320 from 34 different countries. The organization provides a forum for the promotion of space exploration, as well as space science and engineering and environmental awareness.
The Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers is an annual forum for ASE members. It is held in a different host country every year. In 2013, the 26th Planetary Congress was held in Cologne, Germany, from July 1 to July 5. It was supported by the German Aerospace Centre and the European Space Agency and included events for public audiences and press conferences as well as internal meetings and lectures. Eighty-two astronauts and cosmonauts attended the event.