Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    3 October 2014

    Message of Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs on the occasion of World Space Week

    Austrian Space Forum and World Space Week Association to hand over  "Space Crystal"  for UNOOSA Space Exhibition

    VIENNA, 4 October (UN Information Service) - As part of World Space Week celebrations, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) will be presented with a rare crystal that combines material from a Mars meteorite and rock samples from around the globe.

    World Space Week, established by the UN General Assembly and observed from 4 to 10 October, is an annual event that brings together thousands of people worldwide to underscore the benefits of space for humankind.

    "On the occasion of this World Space Week I welcome the celebrations taking place all over the world to promote the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition," said the Director of UNOOSA, Simonetta Di Pippo, who has been heading the Office since March 2014 and is marking the Week for the first time in her new role.

    The Tiuterra Crystal to be donated at the Vienna International Centre by the Austrian Space Forum (ÖWF) and the World Space Week Association is a composite of a Mars meteorite found in Morocco and rock samples collected by individuals and institutions globally and is part of a limited edition of 100 pieces. Three smaller versions of the Crystal will accompany the Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on her journey to the International Space Station in November 2014.

    The presentation of the Tiuterra Crystal will be at 3 p.m. on 10 October at the UNOOSA Space Exhibit in the Vienna International Centre, where the crystal will then be displayed and included in the Guided Tours provided by the United Nations Information Service in Vienna.

    This year's Word Space Week theme is "Space: Guiding Your Way". The UNOOSA Director said this theme is of great importance to her Office since it features the benefits of satellite navigation to society. UNOOSA was designated as the Executive Secretariat to the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG), established in 2005 under the umbrella of the United Nations. The ICG promotes voluntary cooperation on civil satellite-based positioning, navigation, timing and value-added services as well as organizing capacity-building workshops, training courses and international meetings to promote the use of Global Navigation Satellite Systems and related technologies for the betterment of all people.

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    By Resolution 54/68 of 6 December 1999, the UN General Assembly proclaimed World Space Week, "to celebrate the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition". The dates were chosen to commemorate the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, 4 October 1957, and the entry into force, of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, 10 October 1967. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the declaration of this special week.

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    For further information, please contact:

    Sinead Harvey
    United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-8718
    Email: sinead.harvey[at]