Press Releases

    UNIS/OS/364
    21 February 2008

                   UN Flag to Fly to the International Space Station                

    VIENNA, 21 February (UN Information Service) -- Symbolizing its commitment to the ideals of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, the Republic of Korea's first astronaut will carry a United Nations flag during his historic flight in April 2008.

    The Korean astronaut, Ko San, will spend nearly eight days aboard the International Space Station conducting scientific experiments. Following his return, he will travel to United Nations Headquarters in New York to return the flag to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The flag will finally come back to Vienna later this year, where it will be included in the permanent exhibition of the Office of Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) at the Vienna International Centre.

    Today, on behalf of the UN, Antonio Maria Costa, Director-General, United Nations Office at Vienna presented a United Nations flag to H.E. Mr. Kim Sung-Hwan, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations (Vienna). Congratulating the Republic of Korea on its technological success, Mr. Costa said that the UN is very pleased that the Republic of Korea has decided to mark this historic flight of its first astronaut by carrying the UN flag as a symbol of its commitment to the ideals of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.

    The Chairman of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, Aboubekr Seddik Kedjar of Algeria, also attended the ceremony. The 45 th session of the Subcommittee is currently meeting in Vienna.

    The tradition of astronauts carrying United Nations flag into outer space began during the earliest manned space missions. To date, the United Nations flag has been taken into Earth orbit, aboard space stations and to the Moon.

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    For further information, please contact:

    Romana Kofler
    Associate Programme Officer
    Tel.: (+43-1) 26060-4962
    Email: romana.kofler@unvienna.org