What is the Office for Outer Space Affairs?

With a name like this, it must be an interesting and provocative organization. Join Bench Mark US as we dig into what this organization is all about because, as it turns out, the Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) has a secret. They are heavily related to surveying equipment, so let’s see what this unique group does.


When was UNOOSA Established?

According to UNOOSA’s history page, “The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs was initially created as a small expert unit within the United Nations Secretariat to service the ad hoc Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space”. This occurred all the way back in the year 1958. The information presented goes on to state how, over the next 30 years or so, the name of the organization changed, and the offices were eventually relocated to the United Nations Office at Vienna.


What is UNOOSA’s Mission Statement?

Ultimately, UNOOSA works to promote international cooperation in the peaceful use and exploration of space. They do this through several methods, including education, social development and the establishment of legal and regulatory frameworks for many space-related sectors.


What Has UNOOSA Done?

One of the many initiatives this organization has undertaken is furthering education about space technology. This has been a boon to operators of survey equipment and students alike, as it gives a greater basis for knowledge and understanding of important systems like GNSS receivers.

To this end, the United Nations organization has implemented several Regional Centres for Space Science and Technology Education. Their aim was to establish a centre in every continent, which they have succeeded in at this time. Currently, they have locations in these countries:

  • Morocco
  • Nigeria
  • China
  • India
  • Jordan
  • Brazil
  • Mexico
A person is standing next to the Milky Way galaxy pointing on a bright star.

The first of these centres was inaugurated in 1995 and the newest in 2014. In many ways, the work that they do in these locations will positively affect the surveying equipment industry. Technologies for more accurate measurements and navigation will always end up in the exciting field of surveying.

Additionally, UNOOSA is responsible for creating and fulfilling sustainable development goals. These goals help shape research, development and exploration for the organization by providing responsible guidelines. This includes considerations for the development of sustainable cities and communities, crop rotations, ocean life, algal blooms, decent work, peace, clean energy and much more.

It will be interesting to see what the future brings for the confluence of UNOOSA and surveying equipment. Take algal blooms, for example. Using GNSS, measurement and satellite communication, the UNOOSA is capable of tracking these blooms around the world. They will prove critical in protecting coastal and freshwater ecosystems alike.

Another great example of the crossover between surveying equipment and the Office for Outer Space Affairs is contained within Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy. Here, solar and wind farms will be built on the back of surveying options in the wider world.


Who Runs the UNOOSA?

The current director of the UUNOOSA is Simonetta Di Pippo. Since graduating with an Astrophysics and Space Physics degree from the university in Rome in 1984, her work has focused on space exploration, science and innovation.