Space applications provide innovative tools to improve lives and accelerate sustainable development in many areas, and health is one of them.
UNOOSA helps all countries access the potential of space science and applications and integrate these tools in national policies and practices. We present some examples of how space can help us achieve better health worldwide, and of what UNOOSA is doing to contribute to this goal, from increasing international knowledge sharing to providing ad-hoc training and resources.
The main purpose of this page is to increase awareness about existing space-related tools and best practices that governments and organisations around the world can adopt to achieve better health for everyone.
In order to help bridge the information crisis that has accompanied the global pandemic, UNOOSA's programme UN-SPIDER compiled
examples of contributions and best practices using space in addressing COVID-19. These resources can be accessed via
We are always looking for more examples and practices on how to leverage space for better health, both concerning the coronavirus and beyond. Submit a response here
On 14 May, UNOOSA organized a
Space4Health Webinar dedicated to the use of space infrastructure, its data, applications and services to combat the pandemic of the new coronavirus, as well as to global health challenges now and in the past. The Webinar featured 20 representatives from Space Agencies, Private Sector, Universities, Research Institutions, UN Member States and UNOOSA. In total, more than 400 people registered for the Webinar.
The recordings of the two Webinar sessions, the report of the Webinar as well as presentations are available in the following webpage.
UNOOSA Programme on Space Applications provides capacity building in the areas of telehealth and tele-epidemiology (landscape epidemiology), assists Member States to use satellite remote sensing, global positioning, GIS and satellite communications to integrate ecological, environmental and habitation data into models for disease surveillance and control activities.The Programme regularly organises or contributes to workshops, conferences and training programmes on leveraging space for global health. See a list of some of these recent activities here .
Access to Space 4 All Initiative, UNOOSA provides a variety of opportunities to all UN Member States, in particular developing countries, to access space, for example by developing a cube satellite to be deployed from the International Space Station or by conducting experiments onboard the China Space Station.
Some of these programmes provide winning teams with the opportunity to conduct medical research or experiments that can lead to advancements in healthcare thanks to the unique space conditions. For example, the 2nd cycle of HyperGES (Opportunity on Experiments under Hypergravity condition) that will be open in the 2nd half of 2020, will allow health experiment or research in microgravity conditions.
In 2018, the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) agreed to introduce a new item on space and global health in the agenda of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee (STSC), and also agreed to establish a Working Group under that agenda item. UNOOSA serves as Secretariat to this intergovernmental platform. The Working Group on Space and Global Health is gathering information from States members and international organizations about their use of space applications for global health to develop concrete recommendations. It will aim to establish a platform to enhance the sharing of information, best practices, tools and capacity-building resources in the area of space and global health. Comprehensive information and documentation of the Working Group, including information provided by States members, and other sources addressing synergies in international cooperation and coordination in the use of space tools for global health, such as the UN-Space special report on the use of space science and technology within the United Nations system for global health, are available systematically on the dedicated webpage of the Working Group .