The United Nations is launching an incredibly ambitious new space mission.
Move over, NASA and the European Space Agency: the United Nations is about to launch a space mission of its own, and it has a bold mission. The UN has announced that mission to be launched in 2021 in collaboration with the Sierra Nevada Corporation will seek to help developing countries fly their own payloads into low-Earth orbit, hopefully ending the monopoly first-world countries have on space.
The people behind the project are hoping to benefit future generations of innovators all around the world. The spaceship that Sierra Nevada Corporation is building, dubbed the Dream Chaser, would be a reuable ship much like the retired U.S. space shuttle program, but it would be much smaller — just a quarter of the size. This ship would be meant for comemrcial cargo delivery into orbit.
The vision is to make it capabl eof landing at airports and spaceports world wide autonomously. It would enable UN member states to conduct low-cost space missions without having to develop their own dedicated platform.
It’s all part of a growing focus on space and a growing commercial sector as companies like SpaceX seek to drive down the cost of space travel and scientists turn their sites toward other planets and asteroids.
“At SNC our goal is to pay it forward,” said Eren Ozmen, SNC’s owner and president. “That means leveraging the creation and success of our Dream Chaser spacecraft to benefit future generations of innovators like us all around the world.”
“One of UNOOSA’s core responsibilities is to promote international cooperation in the peaceful use of outer space,” said Simonetta Di Pippo, director of UNOOSA. “I am proud to say that one of the ways UNOOSA will achieve this, in cooperation with our partner SNC, is by dedicating an entire microgravity mission to United Nations Member States, many of which do not have the infrastructure or financial backing to have a standalone space program.”