Basic Space Technology Background Resources

Basic Space Technology Initiative Documents and Presentations

The Basic Space Technology Initiative (BSTI) comprises a range of activities that support capacity building in space technology development between countries. BSTI focuses in particular on capacity building activities related to the development and operation of small satellites and the benefits they may provide. For a more detailed overview of the Basic Space Technology Initiative's activities, please review the following documents:

Reports of BSTI Activities and plans:


Presentations on the Status of BSTI:


Background Resources

UNISPACE III and United Nations/International Academy of Astronautics Workshops

A background paper on small satellite missions was prepared for the Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III), held in Vienna irom 18 to 23 July 1999.

  • UNISPACE III, Background Paper 9, "Small Satellite Missions", 26 May 1998 (A/CONF.184/BP/9)

Within the framework of the Technical Forum of UNISPACE III, the United Nations, in cooperation with the International Academy of Astronautics, held a workshop on small satellites at the service of developing countries.

  • UNISPACE III, "Report of the Technical Forum", 28 July 1999 (A/CONF.184/L.13)
  • UNISPACE III, Technical Forum, "Conclusions and proposals of the Workshop on Small Satellites at the Service of Developing Countries", 27 July 1999 (A/CONF.184/C.2/L.7)

In follow up to this workshop, since 2000, the Office for Outer Space Affairs, in cooperation with the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), has held annual workshops on the theme small satellites at the service of developing countries as part of the programme of the annual International Astronautical Congress.

  • The Latin American Experience, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 5 October 2000 (A/AC.105/745)
  • The African Perspective, Toulouse, France, 2 October 2001 (A/AC.105/772)
  • Beyond Technology Transfer, Houston, United States of America, 12 October 2002 (A/AC.105/799)
  • A Contribution to Sustainable Development, Bremen, Germany, 30 September 2003 (A/AC.105/813)
  • Current and Planned Small Satellite Programmes, Vancouver, Canada, 5 October 2004 (A/AC.105/835)
  • Fukuoka, Japan, 19 October 2005 (A/AC.105/855)
  • Valencia, Spain, 3 October 2006 (A/AC.105/884)
  • Hyderabad, India, 25 September 2007 (A/AC.105/897)
  • Glasgow, Scotland, 30 September 2008 (no report)
  • Daejeon, Republic of Korea, 13 October 2009 (A/AC.105/971)
  • Prague, Czech Republic, 28 September 2010 (A/AC.105/1016)
  • Capetown, South Africa, 4 October 2011 (no report)
  • Napoli, Italy, 2 October 2012 (no report)
  • Beijing, China, 24 September 2013 (no report)

The list of reports is also available through the Documents and Resolutions Database

Space Industry Symposiums

UNISPACE III included a large number of space industry participants. As a follow-up, the Office for Outer Space Affairs has organized, since 2000, a series of symposiums to strengthen the partnership with industry. The symposiums are being held on the margins of the annual sessions of the COPUOS Scientific and Technical Subcommittee. Some of the symposium have also addressed the issues of establishing a basic space industry capacity and basic space technology development capabilities.

Regulatory and Legal Issues

Registration of Satellites

Space Debris Mitigation

Frequency Coordination

Online Courses and Education Resources

Launch Opportunities

Note: These links are for information only and do not imply endorsement by the United Nations in any form.

Orbital Data Information and Conjunction Assessment Services

Open Standards and Standardization

Other Background Information

The use of small satellites has been addressed by the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space since the mid-1990s. The documents of the Committee on this topic are listed below.

  • Microsatellites and Small Satellites: Current Projects and Future Perspectives for International Cooperation, 2 November 1995 (A/AC.105/611)
  • Symposium on Utilization of Micro- and Small Satellites for the Expansion of Low-cost Space Activities, Taking into Account the Special Needs of Developing Countries, 12-13 February 1996 (A/AC.105/638)
  • Report on the United Nations/Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial/European Space Agency International Conference on Small Satellites: Missions and Technology, Madrid, 9-13 September 1996 (A/AC.105/645)
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