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    UNIS/OS/419
    18 June 2012

    United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Concludes 55th Session in Vienna

    VIENNA, 18 June (UN Information Service) - The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) has concluded its deliberations over ways and means to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes and to ensure that space technology and its applications continue to benefit many areas critical to all humanity at its 55th session, held from 6 to 15 June.

    The Committee agreed on a new agenda item, "Space and sustainable development", to consider, among others, the outcomes of the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and the use of space technology and its applications for socioeconomic and sustainable development.

    The Committee also agreed to commemorate in 2013 the fiftieth anniversary of the first space flight by a woman, cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova on 16 June 1963, with a special panel consisting of prominent women in the space-related fields of space exploration, science, technology, education, business and policy to address the contribution of women to space activities on the topic "Space: building the future today".

    Other highlights of the 55th session of the Committee included:

    • The panel discussion on the theme "Fortieth anniversary of the Landsat programme and the evolution of worldwide remote sensing from space" was held on 6 June, addressing the contributions of Landsat as the longest-running civilian Earth observation programme to the worldwide evolution of Earth observation. A dedicated exhibition on this theme was held at the Vienna International Centre from 6 to 15 June, with several countries exhibiting their remote sensing imagery.
    • The Government of China donated a Beidou navigation satellite model to the permanent exhibition of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) at the Vienna International Centre. The model is exhibited in the section dedicated to global navigation satellite systems.
    • The four expert groups of the Working Group on the Long Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities met on the margins of the current session to work on the following issues: sustainable space utilization, space debris and space operations, space weather, and regulatory regimes for actors in space arena.
    • The Action Team on Near Earth Objects (NEOs) of the Committee continued its work on draft recommendations for an international response to the NEO impact threat. As part of the overall NEO threat mitigation efforts, representatives of space agencies held a second meeting to build consensus on recommendations to establish a mission planning and operations group.

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    For further information, please contact:

    Romana Kofler
    United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4962
    Email: romana.kofler[at]unoosa.org