UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and astronaut Scott Kelly launching #whyspacematters photo contest. Photo: UNOOSA
To highlight the role of space-based science and technologies and their applications for sustainable development, the UN Office, known by the acronym UNOOSA, with cooperation of NASA with Mr. Kelly, is asking the public to submit photos depicting just why space matters to us in our daily lives.
“[It is] an honour to have Scott Kelly share his experience in space with the United Nations,” said UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo. “This campaign will help to promote the use of space science and technologies in such areas as disaster risk reduction, tracking the effects of climate change and in the equality of access to education and telemedicine.”
Mr. Kelly is currently on board the International Space Station on a unique one-year mission, together with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, where he will be setting a single-mission record for a US astronaut.
Speaking from the space station, Mr. Scott said: “We learn something every time we go to space. And the International Space Station is one of the world’s greatest laboratories – where we are helping with advances in medicine, biology, chemistry and materials sciences. It is the pursuit of these advances off the Earth that help improve lives on Earth.”
“And that is why I am so committed to space exploration and embarking on this year-long mission,” he said “I look forward to seeing the images from people around the world on how space technology has impacted them where they live.”
The deadline for submission of photos under a monthly theme is the 10th of each month, and each month a winner will be chosen and announced by Scott Kelly from the space station.
Participants are asked to submit pictures through Instagram using #whyspacematters and tagging @UNOOSA. Kelly will announce the winning photo each month by posting it from his Instagram account @StationCDRKelly.
The UN office has given examples of themes that can be used in photographs, such as “space for developing economies,” “environment and climate change,” “disaster risk reduction.”
UNOOSA, which is based in Vienna, Austria, is responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, and serves as the secretariat for the UN General Assembly’s only body dealing exclusively with international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), which is currently holding its fifty-eighth session, in Vienna, through the end of the end of the week.