27 April 2005

New DVD Film on Hubble Space Telescope Is Launched

VIENNA, 27 April (UN Information Service) -- As part of the 15th anniversary celebrations of the Hubble Space Telescope, the European Space Agency (ESA) has produced an exclusive, 83-minute DVD film, entitled “Hubble -- 15 Years of Discovery”.  The documentary covers all aspects of the Hubble Space Telescope project -- a journey through its history, its troubled early life and its ultimate scientific successes, and also mentions the role of the Hubble Space Telescope project in facilitating some of the activities of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA). The new DVD film is one of the most widely available science documentaries, with more than 500,000 copies distributed worldwide.

The Hubble Space Telescope, a project of international cooperation between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States and ESA, is one of the biggest scientific projects of all time. In its 15 years of viewing the sky, the Hubble has, among other things, helped astronomers calculate the precise age of the universe, provided sharp views of a comet hitting Jupiter, helped confirm the existence of a strange form of energy called dark energy and taken more than 700,000 exposures of celestial objects.

Since 1991, OOSA has organized annual workshops on basic space science for the benefit of developing countries, in cooperation with ESA and within the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications. The workshops have supported the operation of small telescope facilities, and have supported the processing of the imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope by developing countries.

OOSA has supported the establishment and operation of the regional centres for space science and technology education, affiliated to the United Nations and located in India, Morocco, Nigeria and Brazil/Mexico. The centres are open to scholars from developing countries in each region and offer long-term postgraduate courses in remote sensing, satellite meteorology, satellite communications and space science. As part of the postgraduate courses, scholars of the regional centres have taken advantage of processing the images obtained from the Hubble Space Telescope.

The ESA DVD film can be obtained free of charge by sending an e-mail to OOSA at oosa@unvienna.org.

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The United Nations Programme on Space Applications is implemented by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and works to improve the use of space science and technology for the economic and social development of all nations, in particular developing countries. Under the Programme, the Office conducts training courses, workshops, seminars and other activities on applications and capacity building in subjects such as remote sensing, communications, satellite meteorology, search and rescue, basic space science, satellite navigation and space law.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) implements the decisions of the General Assembly and of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its two Subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee. The Office is responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, and assisting developing countries in using space science and technology. Located in Vienna, Austria, OOSA maintains a website at http://www.unoosa.org/.