For information only - not an official document

3 February 2012

Sustainable Outer Space Discussed in Vienna

VIENNA, 6 February (UN Information Service) - Sustainable future use of outer space, possible dangers from asteroids, space debris mitigation and disaster management will be key agenda items at the 49th session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), which takes place in Vienna, Austria, from 6 to 17 February. Other topics of discussion include space weather research, recent developments in global navigation satellite systems, safe use of nuclear power sources in outer space, the use of the geostationary orbit and matters related to remote sensing of the Earth by satellites, including applications for developing countries. The Action Team on Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) will consider draft recommendations for an international response to the NEO impact threat and will submit the draft for the consideration of the Working Group on NEOs of the Subcommittee.

On 7 February, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) will sign a cooperation agreement with Hungary to establish a Regional Support Office that will serve as the centre of expertise for implementing the UNOOSA programme on disaster management - the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response, UN-SPIDER.

On 8 February, a workshop on the use of nuclear power sources in outer space will be held, aimed at following up and re-enforcing the 2009 Safety Framework for Nuclear Power Sources Applications in Outer Space.

Experiences and practices in the conduct of sustainable space activities will be shared in a workshop on the long-term sustainability of outer space, which will be held on 9 February in the afternoon.

On 13 February, UNOOSA will organize a symposium entitled "The Earth observation services industry: market opportunities". The symposium which will bring together representatives from the Earth-observation industry, will target the contribution of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and will include observance of the fortieth anniversary of the launch of Landsat-1, the first Earth-observation satellite.

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For further information, please contact:

Romana Kofler
Associate Programme Officer, UNOOSA
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4962
Email: romana.kofler[at]