United Nations/China Workshop on Human Space Technology

Beijing, China,  16-20 September 2013

Organized by The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and The China Manned Space Agency

Co-organized by The International Academy of Astronautics

Hosted by The China Manned Space Agency

Workshop Programme

Information for participants

Other resources available online

Workshop Information


A five-day international workshop on human space technology in Beijing, China, from 16 to 20 September 2013 is being organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs in cooperation with the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) as part of the Human Space Technology Initiative (HSTI) under the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications.

Jointly organized and hosted by CMSA and co-organized by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), the Workshop will bring together senior experts, professionals and decision-makers from public sectors, academia and industry worldwide. The Workshop participants will exchange information on recent accomplishments and efforts in the areas of human space technology, relevant science and research activities as well as educational promotion for the next generation. The Workshop will also aim to contribute to establishing institutional capacity in microgravity science and enhancing international cooperation in human space exploration as a global endeavor.

Background and objectives

The establishment of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and its Scientific and Technical and Legal Subcommittees corresponded with the time of the launch of Sputnik in 1957 and the first human space flight by Yuri Gagarin in 1961. In its resolution establishing the Committee, the General Assembly stressed that this body was called to review the scope of international cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space, to devise programmes in this field to be undertaken under United Nations auspices, to encourage continued research and the dissemination of information on outer space matters, as well as to study legal problems arising from the exploration of outer space.

The Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies came into force soon before the first human, Neil Armstrong, set foot upon the surface of the Moon in 1969. This treaty established, inter alia, that "exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind".

The third United Nations conference on the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space (UNISPACE III) was held in Vienna in 1999 and recognized that large human space exploration missions exceed the capacity of a single country and that cooperation should be privileged in this area, and thus, recommended the development of future space science programmes, in particular through international cooperation. One year later, in 2000, the first crew got on board the International Space Station.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and its predecessors within the Secretariat of the United Nations have been assisting the Committee and its Subcommittees to achieve their goals and implement their decisions since the late 1950s.

In 2010, the Office launched the Human Space Technology Initiative (HSTI) under the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications. HSTI aims at promoting international cooperation on human space flight and space exploration-related activities, creating awareness among countries on the benefits of utilizing human space technology and its applications, and building capacity in microgravity education and research. Under HSTI, various activities have been initiated.

In November 2011, the United Nations/Malaysia Expert Meeting on Human Space Technology was held in Putrajaya, Malaysia, from 14 to 18 November 2011. The meeting, the first of its kind in the United Nations, focused on facilitating a discussion on the benefits of human space technology, capacity-building and microgravity research in general and on identifying potential opportunities for developing countries to cooperate in human space technology activities and to take part in space science research.

The planned Workshop is a further extension of the United Nations/Malaysia Expert Meeting and will focus on;

  • Exchanging information on the latest developments and future plans of human space flight and space exploration 
  • Creating awareness on the benefits of human space technology and its applications 
  • Promoting capacity on microgravity research and education 
  • Identifying potential opportunities for new space-faring and emerging countries to participate in space exploration-related efforts. 

The Workshop will also discuss potential cooperation in the context of HSTI activities to promote human space technology and its applications to benefit the world.

Preliminary programme

The comprehensive programme will include plenary and working group sessions. The plenary sessions will consist of keynote speeches and technical presentations that will address achievements and plans at national, regional and international level, as well as the broad perspective of human endeavors in space. The working group sessions will provide sufficient time for participants to discuss the corresponding topics and formulate recommendations.

The Workshop will cover the following topics:

  • National, regional and international space programmes
    • Achievements, current activities and future plans
    • International cooperation
  • Microgravity science
    • Research results and spin-off benefits
    • Space- and ground-based microgravity facilities
  • Capacity building and education
    • Awareness on human space technology and its applications
    • Education and outreach activities in microgravity science
    • United Nations Zero-gravity Instrument Project (ZGIP)
  • Human space flight and exploration
    • Utilization of space stations in low Earth orbit
    • Future human space flight activities beyond low Earth orbit
    • Participation of new space-faring and emerging countries in human space exploration

Outreach activities during the Workshop, such as a public forum with international astronauts, cosmonauts and taikonauts and a tour of Chinese facilities related to the human space programme will be organized in cooperation with the host organization.

The detailed Workshop programme will be made available at the Workshop webpage listed at the end of this Information Note.

Expected participants

Applicants must have a university degree and well-established professional working experience in a field related to the topics of the Workshop. Applicants should ideally be involved in the planning or implementation of space programmes in relevant governmental organizations, international or national agencies, non-governmental organizations, research or academic institutions or industry.

Language of the Expert Meeting and presentations by participants

The working language of the Workshop will be English. Selected participants who are funded by the co-sponsors of the Workshop will be required to prepare a presentation of approximately 10 to 20 minutes on topics relevant to the Workshop objectives and the programme. Presentations on actual on-going projects will be of particular interest to participants of the Workshop .

Dates and location of the Expert Meeting

The Workshop will be held in Beijing, China, from 16 to 20 September 2013. All selected and invited participants will receive information with details on room and board accommodations and other local arrangements.

Financial support

Within the limited financial resources available to the co-sponsors, a number of qualified applicants from developing countries, who have expressed the need for financial support will be offered financial support to attend the Workshop. This may include the provision of a round-trip air ticket between Beijing and the applicant's international airport of departure and daily subsistence allowances to cover room and board for the duration of the Workshop. En-route expenses or any changes made to the air ticket must be the responsibility of the participants.

Due to a limited availability of financial resources, it is usually not possible to provide assistance to all qualified applicants who express the need for financial support. Applicants and their nominating organizations are therefore strongly encouraged to find additional sources of sponsorship to allow them to attend the Workshop.

Deadline for submission of applications

Your application and signature page should reach the Office by no later than Friday, 21 June 2013.

Life and health insurance

Life and major health insurance is the responsibility of each selected participant or his/her nominating institution or government. The co-sponsors will neither assume any responsibility for life and major health insurance nor for any other expenses related to medical treatment or accidental events.

Further information and points of contact

For information regarding the Workshop, please contact Mr. Aimin NIU from the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs:

Mr. Aimin NIU
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
E-mail: aimin.niu@unoosa.org
Tel: (+43-1) 26060-8717

For information regarding local arrangements for the Workshop, please contact Mr. Yaofeng LU, the point of contact with the China Manned Space Agency:

Mr. Yaofeng LU
China Manned Space Agency
E-mail: yaofeng.lu@cmse.gov.cn
Tel: (+86-10) 6236-6342
Fax: (+86-10) 8207-7952

Additional information

For the latest information and updates about the Workshop, it is advised that you frequently visit this page.

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