COPUOS 2021 – U.S. National Statement

Agenda Item 4: General Exchange of Views – U.S. National Statement

As delivered by NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, introduced by UNVIE Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Louis L. Bono
64th Session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
Vienna, Austria, August 25, 2021

[Chargé Bono] Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Colleagues: the United States welcomes the opportunity to address the 64th Session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Mr. Chair, we appreciate your leadership under these difficult circumstances. We also thank the Director of the Office for Outer Space Affairs and the Secretariat for their exceptional work throughout the past year.

In line with the United States’ continued support for and contribution to this work, I am pleased to share that Landsat 9, a joint NASA and U.S. Geological Survey satellite mission, is scheduled to launch on September 16. Since it began in 1972, the Landsat program’s imagery and data have informed more than 18,000 peer-reviewed research papers and public and private programs that support agriculture, forest management, urban development, and more.

The United States welcomes the recent work of the Committee. I note with particular pleasure the successful development of the 21 Guidelines for the long-term sustainability of outer space activities (LTS), as they represent best practices for the safe and responsible use of space. We look forward to working with the LTS 2.0 Working Group to move these guidelines from paper to practice.

I am pleased to introduce National Aeronautics and Space Administration Administrator Bill Nelson to deliver our national statement.

I will now ask that Administrator Nelson’s message be played.

[NASA Administrator Bill Nelson] Mr. Chairman and distinguished delegates, it is my pleasure to join you today to address the Committee at its 64th session.

UNCOPUOS has supported and encouraged international collaboration, especially in the peaceful use of outer space — and I want to thank you for your continued efforts of cooperation and assisting others around the world in developing their space-based systems to improve the lives of all of us here on Earth.

NASA has a long history of international cooperation.

In fact, “cooperation with other nations and groups of nations” in the peaceful exploration of space was a key element in the legislation that first started NASA. Now, for more than 60 years, the United States has worked closely with the UN and many of its Member States, and this partnership is driven by a clear understanding that when it comes to space, when it comes to exploration and discovery in space, when it comes to climate, we’re all in this together.

International collaboration is key to future scientific and human spaceflight achievements. And activities in space are more advanced, more exciting, and more international than ever. With this pace of activity, it’s important that each nation behaves responsibly in space. And we are very happy to have Brazil, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea as the newest members of the Artemis Accords. They’ve been signed by 12 countries, and these Accords establish a common framework to guide space exploration cooperation among nations participating.

Thank you also to those who have already signed and those who will sign in the future. Thank you for joining us in our commitments to the exploration and use of space for peaceful purposes. We will land the first woman and the first person of color on the moon, and we are going to do it with the most diverse coalition of commercial and international partners in all of human space history.

So, on behalf of NASA, thank you for your efforts to encourage the peaceful, sustainable use of space in order to have the benefits of space exploration for the use of all humanity.

We are committed to working with you to achieve goals that can only be made possible by all of us working together.

Thank you very much.