Space & Astronomy
UN announces its first ever space mission
October 2, 2016 | 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."
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