The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) announced the winners of their joint initiative to conduct experiments on board the China Space Station (CSS) during a side event of the 62nd session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).
Six winning projects were selected, and three were conditionally selected. The winning institutions come from a wide range of countries, including Belgium, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, the Netherlands, Norway, Mexico, Poland, Peru, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Switzerland.
The research areas proposed by the winners include space medicine, space life science, biotechnology, microgravity fluid physics, microgravity combustion, astronomy, and space technologies.
The opportunity, which was first announced in May 2018, was open to all member states of the United Nations, with particular consideration given to developing countries. In the months following the Announcement of Opportunity (AO), a total of 42 applications from organisations in 27 countries were received by UNOOSA. They were then carefully evaluated by a team of about 60 experts from UNOOSA, CMSA and the international space community, in line with the eligibility and selection criteria outlined in the AO.
The selected winners will have the chance to physically access space by flying their experiment on the CSS, developing their capabilities in space science and technology for peaceful purposes. This opportunity will also enhance their capacity to leverage space to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
BARIDISANA, a High Performance Micro 2-Phase Cooling System for Space Applications; an experiment in microgravity fluid physics and combustion, is the project selected to be implemented in Machakos University in Kenya.
UNOOSA Director, Simonetta Di Pippo, said: “Despite the incredible advances made in the space sector in recent decades, millions of people worldwide still do not have access to the benefits of space. This opportunity with CMSA helps to bridge this gap by opening the unique research environment on board the CSS to all Member States. At UNOOSA, we are incredibly proud to have created this opportunity, which is a pioneering approach to capacity building in space. I look forward to furthering our collaboration with the Government of China and CMSA to provide even more opportunities to enhance access to space in the near future.”