IN THE NEWS: UN strategy lifts capacity for non-spacefaring countries -, February 28, 2017 – The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is pursuing a remit to ensure all of humankind can benefit from the use of space. Its latest initiative is a partnership with the space firm Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), which was announced in June 2016 with further details provided at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Mexico in September. From 2021, the UN will partner with SNC to use the company’s Dream Chaser vehicle to offer Member States affordable unmanned reusable flights to low-Earth orbit (LEO) on the first ever United Nations space mission. In her article for ROOM, UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo explains why this is such an important initiative and how it will benefit developing countries.

At UNOOSA we promote increased access to and use of space-based technology and applications, including by helping Member States develop their own capabilities. In 2010 we launched our Human Space Technology Initiative (HSTI) to involve more countries in activities related to human spaceflight and make space exploration a truly international effort, inclusive and open to everyone.

Our partnership with SNC forms part of a wider strategy under HSTI of building space capacity of non-space-faring countries, particularly developing countries, so that they too can benefit from space technologies and activities.