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USA at the 2022 COPUOS Scientific and Technical Subcommittee
February 7, 2022

Astronaut Mark Vande Hei peers at the Earth below from inside the seven-windowed cupola, the International Space Station's window to the world. (NASA)
Astronaut Mark Vande Hei peers at the Earth below from inside the seven-windowed cupola, the International Space Station’s window to the world. (NASA)


From Monday, February 7, to Friday, February 18, the United States joined delegations from around the world to discuss scientific and technical aspects of outer space activity and international space cooperation at the 59th session of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) Scientific and Technical Subcommittee (STSC).

Fostering a safe, sustainable space environment that facilitates scientific discovery, drives opportunity, creates prosperity, and ensures security on Earth and in space is in the interest of all nations. As such, the U.S. delegation to the 2022 STSC promoted implementation of the Preamble and 21 Long-Term Sustainability Guidelines adopted by the Committee in 2019; updated the STSC on U.S. efforts to leverage space-based technologies in the global fight against climate change; urged all nations to refrain from recklessly conducting destructive satellite testing and to implement the Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines adopted in 2007; and much more.

The U.S. delegation also provided technical presentations to the Committee, including presentations by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) cartographer Thomas Cercere celebrating 50 years of Landsat and highlighting USGS web tools that allow free and open data access to imaging; by Caroline Kehrli of the Satellite Industry Association explaining how the U.S. commercial sensing satellite industry leverages technology to work towards UN Sustainable Development Goals; by NASA‘s Gregory Robinson on how the James Webb Space Telescope will help us understand the origins of the universe; and an update by Brian Weeden of the Secure World Foundation on the Consortium for Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing Operations (CONFERS).

Kevin Conole, Senior Program Specialist in the Office of International and Interagency Relations at NASA, led the U.S. delegation to the 59th STSC, which met virtually and in Vienna, Austria.

A subsidiary of COPUOS, the only standing body of the United Nations concerned exclusively with the peaceful uses of outer space, the STSC meets for two weeks every year to address topics as diverse as space weather, orbital debris, and the long-term sustainability of outer space activities. A full list of U.S. statements delivered at the 59th STSC can be found below.

U.S. statements delivered at the 2022 COPUOS Scientific and Technical Subcommittee:

Agenda Item 4: General Exchange of Views
Agenda Item 11: Space Weather
Agenda Item 13: Long Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities
Agenda Item 15: Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space
Agenda Item 16: Space and Global Health
Agenda Item 8: Space Debris
Agenda Item 12: Near-Earth Objects
Agenda Item 10: Recent Developments in Global Navigation Satellite Systems
Agenda Item 9: Space-system-based Disaster Management Support
Agenda Item 7: Matters Related to Remote Sensing of the Earth by Satellite, Including Applications for Developing Countries and Monitoring of the Earth’s Environment
Agenda Item 18: Dark and Quiet Skies