For information only - not an official document

20 November 2016

United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs announces former astronaut Scott Kelly as Champion for Space

VIENNA, 20 November (UN Information Service) - The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) announced today the appointment of Scott Kelly as United Nations Champion for Space. Ms. Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of UNOOSA, and Mr. Kelly formally signed a letter of designation during the UNOOSA-led High Level Forum on "Space as a Driver for Socio-economic Sustainable Development" in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

As Champion for Space, Mr. Kelly will help UNOOSA promote space as a tool for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, as well as raise awareness of UNOOSA's activities, such as the forthcoming UNISPACE+50 event in June 2018. UNISPACE+50 will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and be an opportunity for the international community to set the future course of global space cooperation and governance.

"We are thrilled and honoured to have Mr. Kelly's support as United Nations Champion for Space. In this role, Mr. Kelly will combine his demonstrated passion for making our world a better place with his expertise and experience in space. I look forward to working with Mr. Kelly to bring global attention to the important role that space can play in sustainable development," said Ms. Di Pippo.

"Space lends a unique perspective of our world. When looking out at Earth from space, you don't see boundaries. Instead, you see one planet we all belong to. Having lived in space with 40 people from 10 different countries, I learned the incredible value of what we can achieve by working together. Our joint global efforts in space transcend national borders and make the world on which we live better for everyone," said Mr. Kelly.

Mr. Kelly is a former NASA astronaut who holds the record for the most cumulative number of days spent in space by an American astronaut. He is known for his "year in space", during which he and NASA partnered with UNOOSA on the #whyspacematters campaign to call attention to the role space-based science technology and its applications can play in sustainable development.

The Champion for Space role is based on the United Nations Messengers of Peace model, whereby distinguished individuals agree to help focus worldwide attention on the work of the United Nations.

Mr. Kelly's term as Champion for Space will be for an initial period of two years.

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For further information, please contact:

Daria Brankin
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
Telephone: (+43) 699 1459 8718
Email: daria.brankin[at]

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