Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    9 September 2011

    Small satellites can make a big difference:
    United Nations Symposium on Small Satellite Programmes in Graz

    VIENNA, 9 September (UN Information Service) - The United Nations will hold a four-day Symposium on "Small Satellite Programmes for Sustainable Development" in Graz, Austria, at the Space Research Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, from 13 to 16 September.

    Increasingly capable, small satellites can make a big difference. Used in telecommunications, from mobile communications to telemedicine, Earth observation and disaster management or simply as a tool of testing new technologies and providing training for students and scientists, small satellites can be developed with an infrastructure and at a cost that is now affordable to countries and organizations with limited budgets for space activities. There are examples where university-based small satellite projects have led to the establishment of small and medium-sized space enterprises that are marketing their products on a commercial and world-wide basis. Such developments not only create new opportunities for international space cooperation but also contribute to further promoting the use of space technology and its applications for sustainable development.

    With an increasing number of small satellite programmes conducted all over the world in the last few years, the Symposium will review the use of small satellites as well as the technical, managerial, regulatory and legal issues of implementing small satellite programmes. Organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), in cooperation with the Government of Austria and the European Space Agency (ESA), the Symposium is the third and final in a series of three annual consecutive symposia that address the role of space technology in achieving sustainable development.

    The detailed programme and related information are available on the UNOOSA website:

    * *** *

    Press briefing

    At the press briefing, the organizers of the Symposium and experts will provide journalists with information on the issues that will be addressed during the Symposium.

    Date and time: 13 September 2011 at 11 a.m.

    Place: Institute for Space Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences
    Schmiedlstrasse 6, Graz, Austria

    For further information, please contact:

    Hans-Peter Weingand
    Public Relations, Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
    Telephone: (+43-316) 876-1150
    Mobile: (+43-699) 1876-1150
    Email: hans-peter.weingand[at] or pr[at]


    Romana Kofler
    United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4962
    Email: romana.kofler[at]