United Nations Expert Meeting on Human Space Technology
- Providing Access to Space

Organized and Hosted by the
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
With the support of
the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

 Vienna International Centre, Vienna, Austria
4-6 December 2018


Information for participants


The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is organizing and hosting a three-day Expert Meeting on Human Space Technology on the theme "Providing Access to Space", from 4 to 6 December 2018, at the Vienna International Centre, Vienna, Austria. Supported by the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the Expert Meeting is a contribution to the United Nations Human Space Technology Initiative (HSTI).

The Expert Meeting will bring together senior experts, professionals, and decision-makers from national and regional space agencies, research institutes, academia, industries and private sectors, as well as, regional and international space related organizations. The participants of the Expert Meeting will exchange information on achievements on human space exploration related activities, space technology and its applications, and discuss how to promote international cooperation by furthering capacity-building and identifying new and potential opportunities for getting more countries involved in human space exploration-related activities, space technology and its applications.


The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and its Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and Legal Subcommittee were established coinciding with the launch of Sputnik in 1957 and the first human space flight by Yuri Gagarin in 1961 to promote international cooperation in the peaceful uses 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, entered into force soon before the first human, Neil Armstrong, set foot on the Moon in 1969. It provides, inter alia, that exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries.

The third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III) in 1999 recognized that large human space exploration missions exceed the capacity of a single country and thus recommended the development of future space science programmes through international cooperation. One year later, in 2000, the first long-duration crew went on board the International Space Station (ISS). In 2009, the ISS attained a six-man crew operation.

In 2010, UNOOSA launched the HSTI to promote international cooperation on human space flight and space exploration-related activities, create awareness among countries on the benefits of utilizing human space technology and its applications, and build capacity in microgravity education and research. Under this initiative, various events and activities have been carried out.

Since the inception of HSTI, the United Nations outreach seminars, expert meetings, and workshops on human space technology were conducted successfully under this initiative with strong support from host countries/organizations. These events acknowledged that human space exploration can be regarded as a common goal of humanity to unite the world and that all countries and particularly emerging countries are encouraged to get involved in human space exploration related activities and benefit from its outcomes. They also demonstrated that HSTI has been a meaningful mechanism to raise awareness of the benefits of, to build capacity in, and to promote international cooperation in human space exploration related activities, space technology and its applications
( http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/psa/hsti/events.html).

Under HSTI, UNOOSA has been carrying out substantial activities in cooperation with spacefaring nations, including ZGIP, DropTES, KiboCube, Dream Chaser Utilization, and the China Space Station Utilization ( http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/psa/hsti/index.html). New and more activities are being developed with potential collaborators. These activities have been providing Member States of the United Nations, in particular developing countries, physical access to space through a wide range of opportunities in space experiments, space flights, and small satellites, thus contributing to bridging the space divide between nations that have developed space-related capabilities and technologies and those that have limited or no access to such capabilities.


Reaffirming the achievements made under HSTI (see Background section), UNOOSA is organizing this Expert Meeting on human space technology towards the following objectives:

  • Exchanging information on the latest developments and future plans of human space flight, space exploration and their commercial applications;
  • Exchanging information on the progresses, achievements, and potential improvements and lessons learnt on the past and ongoing cooperation projects under HSTI;
  • Increasing awareness of the benefits of human space technology and its multiple applications, including their potential role towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  • Promoting capacity in scientific research, experiments, payloads development and space education as well as small satellites utilizing space and ground facilities, space environment and microgravity conditions;
  • Identifying new and potential opportunities for new space-faring and emerging countries as well as industries and private sectors to participate in human space exploration related activities;
  • Discussing and soliciting recommendations on how to further HSTI and its activities, as well as the way forward in international cooperation on potential activities of flying foreign astronauts/payload engineers to promote further utilization of space vehicles and space stations, including with the Office and among participating entities.

Preliminary Programme

The comprehensive programme will include plenary sessions consisting of keynote speeches, technical presentations, and discussions that will address achievements and plans at national, regional and international levels, the broad perspective of capacity building and international cooperation, and discussions on the corresponding topics and recommendations.

Preliminary arrangements for the Expert Meeting are as follows:

  • Day 1: Exchange information on achievements and plans at national, regional, and international level;
  • Day 2: Exchange information on achievements, potential improvements and lessons learnt on cooperation activities under HSTI;
  • Day 3: Propose, identify and discuss new and potential opportunities, and formulate recommendations to further HSTI.

The detailed Expert Meeting programme will be available on this webpage.


Applicants must have a university degree and well-established professional working experience in a field related to the topics of the Expert Meeting. 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, industries and private sectors. Principal investigators or leading experts involved in HSTI projects are especially encouraged to participate.

Financial Support to Selected Participants

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

Due to limited availability of financial resources, it is not possible to provide support to all qualified applicants requesting funding assistance. Applicants and their nominating organizations are therefore strongly encouraged to find additional sources of sponsorship to allow them to attend the Expert Meeting.

Partnership Engagement and Contributions

Entities, including those from industry and the private sector, that wish to provide support (in-kind and/or financial) to the Expert Meeting are invited to contact UNOOSA for further information.

Language of the Expert Meeting and Presentations by Participants

English is the official working language of the Expert Meeting. Participants that will be selected for funding support  are required to prepare a presentation of approximately 15 to 20 minutes or a poster on topics relevant to the Expert Meeting objectives and the programme. Presentations and posters on actual on-going projects and related recommendations and new proposals and suggestions will be of particular interest to all at the Expert Meeting.

Dates and Location

The Expert Meeting will be held in the Vienna International Centre, Vienna, Austria, from 4 to 6 December 2018. All selected and invited participants will receive detailed information on all logistics.

Deadline for Submission of Applications and Interest of Partnership Engagement and Contributions

To participate in the Expert Meeting, applications need to be submitted through the UNOOSA online registration page (i.e., by clicking " Apply now" on this webpage) by no later than 15 July 2018. Only complete applications with all the requested information, attachments as necessary and signatures will be considered.

Entities wishing to provide support (in-kind and/or financial) to the Expert Meeting and/or other activities, please contact UNOOSA (see section 11 below) by no later than 15 July 2018.

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 Contact Details

For further questions related to the Expert Meeting, including interest to support this meeting and/or other activities financially, please contact Mr. Aimin Niu from the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs at:

Mr. Aimin Niu
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
E-mail: aimin.niu@un.org
Tel: (+43-1) 26060-4957

To apply and stay up-to-date on the latest information about the Expert Meeting, please visit this page frequently.

Apply now (Deadline: 15 July 2018)

Please ensure that your application is complete and correct before submitting. Once you have submitted your application, you will not be able to make further changes.

Copyright ©2021 UNOOSA, All Rights Reserved