UN News special coverage of UNISPACE+50, which celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
A night Earth observation photograph taken from the International Space Station, as it passes over Japan. Also in the picture are a Soyuz Spacecraft, connected to the Station’s Mini Research Module 1, and a Progress Spacecraft.
UNISPACE+50, the fourth conference of the United Nations on the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space, was held in Geneva from the 18th to the 21st of June. The need for more women and girls to take part in STEM studies - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - was foremost on the minds of many participants, as Fatima E Mendez has been finding out, in our latest UN Gender Focus podcast, from UN News.
Not only has space exploration captured the world’s imagination, it can also help humankind address existential challenges back on earth, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday, in his message to the UN’s key forum on space affairs.
Floating in near zero-gravity, 400 kilometres above the Pacific Ocean and flying at over 28,000 kilometres per hour, the six crew members onboard the International Space Station (ISS) joined the key United Nations forum on outer space affairs via video link on Wednesday, to discuss the importance of working together.
Progress towards more than half of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is being made thanks in part to a fleet of miniaturized satellites that have been launched into space, according to the founders of a company which takes a daily snapshot of the Earth’s surface.
Robbie Schingler, co-founder of the company Planet, told UN News at this week’s UN Outer Space Affairs’ (UNOOSA) UNISPACE 50 Symposium in Vienna, that his company can help reach at least 12 of the 2030 SDGs, with its imaging technology.
The sight of Earth, from hundreds of kilometers away in open space while you are tethered only to the International Space Station, is “absolutely amazing”, said Scott Kelly, the UN Champion for Space and former US astronaut, stressing that the world we live on “is our only planet.”
On its opening day, a major United Nations forum on the peaceful uses of outer space, was issued a clear challenge to break through the so-called “glass ceiling” that prevents women and girls from achieving their full potential; especially in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
After “relentless” progress in space technology, the focus for the international community must now shift to ensuring that the benefits of space science are available to everyone, everywhere, a senior United Nations official told a major conference on Monday.
Marking 50 years since the world first came together to discuss the peaceful uses of outer space, government leaders, policy makers, civil society representatives and space experts will gather at a United Nations forum in Vienna from Monday to explore the future course of global space cooperation for the benefit of humankind.