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posted by cmn32480 on Saturday October 01 2016, @05:29AM   Printer-friendly
from the this-way-to-general-assembly-boarding-area dept.

The United Nations plans to purchase a dedicated mission on a Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Dream Chaser spacecraft in 2021 to give developing nations an opportunity to fly experiments in space. At a press conference during the International Astronautical Congress here Sept. 27, the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) said the agreement to fly the dedicated Dream Chaser mission is part of a broader effort by the office to increase access to space to emerging nations.

"Our project is the first-ever United Nations space mission," said Simonetta Di Pippo, director of UNOOSA. "The mission has one very important goal: to allow United Nations member states to conduct research that cannot be done on Earth." The mission, she said, will be open to all nations, but with a particular emphasis on those nations that don't have the capabilities to fly their own experiments in space. UNOOSA will soon start the process of soliciting payload proposals, with a goal of selecting payloads by early 2018 so that the winning countries have time to build them for a 2021 launch.

Neither SNC nor UNOOSA disclosed the cost of the mission. Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC's Space Systems division, said that the mission will be financed in several ways, with the countries selected to fly experiments paying at least some of the cost of the flight.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01 2016, @08:05AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01 2016, @08:05AM (#408679)

    Don't developing nations have more important things to focus on than space? Like, I dunno, DEVELOPING? No clean water, rampant poverty, but lets go to space! Its also expensive to go to space so someone is wasting cash on the luxury of going to space when it should be spent on food/water/shelter/developing the country. The UN needs to get its priorities straight. If a country doesn't have the cash to get an experiment into space on their own maybe they need to worry about other things first rather than have someone else pay their way.

  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday October 01 2016, @08:56AM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 01 2016, @08:56AM (#408690) Homepage Journal

    Dude, we're going to space for precisely those reasons. We hope to find clean water, more poor people, and good shit to waste money on. 'The poor will always be with you.' If they are hungry, let them build their own space station to grow food on.

    "Trust the science" -- Tony Fauci and his army of psycophants
  • (Score: 2) by fritsd on Saturday October 01 2016, @08:44PM

    by fritsd (4586) on Saturday October 01 2016, @08:44PM (#408869) Journal

    Um... I take it you've never heard of Landsat [] (operational since 1972).

    "In 1975, NASA Administrator Dr. James Fletcher predicted that if one space age development would save the world, it would be Landsat and its successor satellites"

    African governments must deal with questions like:
    How do you see if a part of your rainforest is sick?

    Which humongous province has the driest soil after last month's drought?

    One of the many investigative techniques, and not even a very expensive one (well, 30 years ago), is:

    Look at your country from above through a few different infra-red spectral bands.

    here's the link: Landsat []
    here's a graph of the bands: spectral bands []

    the instruments can only "see" what gets reflected back from earth in sufficient quantity.
    so that's visible light (400- 800 nanometer wavelength, left bit of the graph) and chunks of infrared; I count three broad infrared bands, coloured yellow, gray and light red in the graph, that get picked up by the various generations of Landsats.