UNOOSA is working with NASA and Astronaut Scott Kelly to raise awareness of the benefits of space for humankind. On June 16, the #whyspacematters photography contest was launched to highlight the importance of outer space for sustainable development on Earth.
Space technologies have an impact on almost all aspects of development and UNOOSA are asking the public to submit photos depicting just why space matters to us all in our daily lives. Participants are asked to submit pictures through Instagram using #whyspacematters, and tagging @UNOOSA. Scott Kelly will post the winning photo through his Instagram account from the ISS each month.
Speaking from the ISS, Scott Kelly, who is three months into his One Year Mission in space, 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. I look forward to seeing the images from people around the world on how space technology has impacted them where they live."
Mr Kelly will be setting a single-mission record for a U.S. astronaut, and the joint expedition will be a great feat for space exploration and a step forward in research on the effects of long-term space habitation for the future of human space flight.
Participants of the contest are free to use their creativity to depict how space matters for development. To assist with some ideas, UNOOSA have given some examples of the ways in which space directly relates to education, health, transportation, etc. See more at the dedicated webpage.
On launching the contest, UNOOSA Director, Simonetta Di Pippo, said it was "an honour to have Scott Kelly share his experience in space with the United Nations. 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".