Upon the conclusion of the 51st session of STSC of COPUOS, the United
Nations issued the following Press Release. (Space Weather is coming
of age -- it will be discussed more and more in future sessions of
STSC, I am certain.)
For information only - not an official document
UNIS/OS/433 21 February 2014
Scientific and Technical Subcommittee concludes its 51st session in Vienna,
advances discussion on the long-term sustainability of outer space
VIENNA, 21 February (UN Information Service) -
"The long-term sustainability
of outer space activities is of critical importance in addressing topics
on sustainable space utilization to support sustainable development
on Earth" said Elod Both of Hungary upon his election as Chair of
the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee for a two-year term. He
highlighted the important issues that Members had discussed during
the session on long-term sustainability and its relation to "space
debris, space operations, tools to support collaborative space
situational awareness, space weather, and regulatory regimes,
including guidance for actors in the space arena".
Long-term sustainability of outer space activities was one of the
key items on the agenda of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee,
which concluded its 51st session in Vienna today. The Working Group
meeting under this topic continued its work towards developing a
set of guidelines aimed to improve the long-term sustainability
of outer space activities.
Other highlights of the 51st session of the Subcommittee include:
- Endorsement of the report from the Action Team on Near-Earth
Objects (NEOs) such as asteroids and comets, which summarized
the first meetings held by the UN-endorsed International Asteroid
Warning Network and the Space Planning Mission Advisory Group.
These groups have started their work towards identifying NEO
threats and on determining the options for initiating and executing
space mission response activities to NEO threats to our planet.
- A multi-year plan of work was instituted to promote the
recognition of space tools and geospatial data infrastructures
in meeting the outcome of the Rio+20 Conference and towards the
post-2015 development agenda. In that regard, global health was
selected as a special area of focus for further deliberations.
- The benefit of space-based activities for health was a
key item in events held on the margins of the Subcommittee.
On 19 and 20 February, the Office for Outer Space Affairs,
in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO),
convened an Expert Meeting on International Space Station
Benefits for Health. Participating experts put their joint
efforts on compiling information on health technologies and
applications developed in the ISS programme, and linked
them to the WHO global health priorities.
- Delegates also attended a symposium which covered all
aspects of commercial applications of Global Navigation Satellite
Systems (GNSS) and discussed a wide range of benefits that GNSS
can bring to society. The number of satellites available will
continue to increase greatly, thus increasing the levels of
accuracy and reliability, making possible a new range of more
beneficial and commercially profitable products and services.
- The Subcommittee heard technical presentations made by
Member States on a diverse and fascinating range of topics,
including on the Chelyabinsk incident and the efforts towards
mitigation of space debris.
Other key items for discussion by the Subcommittee included
space debris mitigation, disaster management and space weather
research. In the two week session, the Subcommittee also reviewed
the status of implementation of the safety framework for nuclear
power source applications in outer space, the use of the
geostationary orbit, and matters related to remote sensing of
the Earth by satellites, including applications for developing
For further information, please contact:
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-8718