At the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Washington D.C., the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and Airbus issued an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for utilizing the Airbus Bartolomeo external platform on the International Space Station (ISS) for missions in the space environment.
The Bartolomeo mission is one of several research and orbital opportunities offered through UNOOSA’s “Access to Space for All” initiative, which aims to enable all countries, especially emerging space nations, to access and leverage the benefits of space.
In line with the mission and objectives of the Access to Space for All initiative and Airbus’ demonstrated commitment to promoting space science and technology in developing countries, this cooperation contributes to broadening access to space activities and applications and to building capacity in space science and technology. This partnership will contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially Goal 4 “Quality Education” and Goal 9 “Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure”. It will also promote international cooperation across nations in the peaceful uses of outer space. In addition to Bartolomeo, UNOOSA and Airbus are also cooperating in the field of Earth observation.
UNOOSA Director, Simonetta Di Pippo, commented: “Through the Access to Space for All initiative, UNOOSA helps all Member States, in particular developing countries, break new ground in space science and technology. This opportunity will give participants the chance to develop their space capabilities through a unique platform and to explore how space can help them achieve the SDGs in practice. We are proud to partner with Airbus, a leader in the aerospace sector, to provide this incredible chance to UN Member States.”
“We are delighted to continue our cooperation with UNOOSA, following the positive reaction to last year’s call for expression of interest which brought in 65 responses. Now we are inviting actual applications from Member States to present their experiment and associated objectives, including how they will help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the next phase, UNOOSA will lead the selection of the benefiting partner, with Airbus acting as technical advisor,” said Airbus’ Johannes von Thadden, Head of Sales, Space Systems, during the signing ceremony at the IAC. “Operating a space mission on the Bartolomeo platform is a highly cost and time-efficient way of bringing a payload into space. With our initiative, countries and institutions that cannot afford space research today will now get access to it.”
Applications for the Bartolomeo mission are open from 24 October 2019. Interested parties fulfilling the eligibility criteria are welcome to apply.
The Announcement of Opportunity can be found on UNOOSA’s website.