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Space & Astronomy

UN announces its first ever space mission

October 2, 2016 | Comment icon 14 comments

The Dream Chaser will be used for the UN's first space mission. Image Credit: NASA / Ken Ulbrich
The United Nations has revealed that it will be launching a global collaborative spaceflight project.
The mission, which aims to send a reusable spacecraft in to orbit, will give developing nations that are unable to fund their own individual space programs an opportunity to participate.

The project has been made possible through a collaboration with the Sierra Nevada Corporation which is developing the Dream Chaser - a reusable spacecraft similar to NASA's space shuttles.

According to Mark Sirangelo, head of SNC's space division, the ambitious project aims to "reach out to communities and to countries and to young people around the world who may never have had the opportunity to do something in space."
If all goes according to plan, the Dream Chaser will launch in 2021 for a 14-day flight while equipped with a series of laboratory stations at which participating countries can set up their own experiments.

It is the first time that the U.N's Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) has ever attempted anything like this since its founding in 1958 to promote "the peaceful uses of outer space."

"One of the really interesting things about space is that despite all the turmoil that we see on Earth, and the geopolitical issues that go between all our countries, space is a place where we have collaborated and cooperated on the International Space Station," said Sirangelo.

"The Space Station is a marvelous laboratory, limited to a certain group of countries who participated in building it. This takes that concept and maybe takes it a little bit further, and opens the door to a lot of other countries to have a chance to do something they've never done before."

Source: NPR.org | Comments (14)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 6 years ago
Did you actually read the article (my emphasis).
Comment icon #6 Posted by FateAmeniableToChange 6 years ago
thankyou i did read the whole article, my disappointment stems from the timeframes for this and other projects, im an impatient man and the idea of 5yrs + to achieve this frustrates me
Comment icon #7 Posted by Dark_Grey 6 years ago
This is great news - the UN gets a bad rap sometimes. Onwards and upwards, mankind!
Comment icon #8 Posted by paperdyer 6 years ago
The key phrase is "paying some"  Define some. You know where the rest will come from. I skimmed the article quickly and either missed it or forgot it when I got to the comments.  I have the attention span of a border collie lately with all the meds I'm currently on.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 6 years ago
Actually the key phrase is "paying at least some".
Comment icon #10 Posted by keithisco 6 years ago
Just a bit of "window dressing" by the UN. Hard to imagine that the experiments selected will be anything other than re-inventing the wheel as, almost certainly, they will not offer any new insights into microgravity environments. IMO
Comment icon #11 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 6 years ago
Do you genuinely think that only people from rich nations are capable of original thinking? If that not what you are trying to say then please explain your reasoning.
Comment icon #12 Posted by keithisco 6 years ago
Where will the money come from to engage in any kind of sophisticated experimentation. These are emerging nations who could almost certainly find something more urgent to spend such money on (such as feeding their populations, or offering immunisations). What benefit will such an endeavour bestow on the nations concerned? 
Comment icon #13 Posted by toast 6 years ago
Its not about experiments that are designed to produce new insights into microgravity environments, its about experiments those require microgravity conditions. From the article:  
Comment icon #14 Posted by keithisco 6 years ago
That was my intent in the post. Insights into, or effects of microgravity environments. I should have expanded on that. That aside, I still do not see the value of such experimentation for emerging nations.

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