Declared for the first time in 1999 by the UN General Assembly, World Space Week is held annually from October 4 through October 10. This event is linked to two important dates in the history of astronautics, that is the launch of the first human-made Earth satellite and the entry into force of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. The theme of the 2021 World Space Week is Women in Space. It was chosen to celebrate the contribution of women to the exploration of outer space and attract attention to the issue of gender equality in the space sector.
One of World Space Week’s forums was the People’s Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), which on October 4-7, 2021 hosted RUDN University Space Week — a series of online lectures and discussions dedicated to the most pressing topics of space research. Intersputnik’s representatives – Director General Ksenia Drozdova and Executive Director Elina Morozova – actively participated in the business program of Day 1.
As the moderator of a panel discussion Elina Morozova noted that it was extremely important to develop a legal framework for space activities, which is sought after today no less than scientific or engineering research.
Ksenia Drozdova, a speaker at a panel discussion, underlined how deeply today’s satellite technologies were changing people’s lives. Space services are part and parcel of our daily routine and work supporting our comfort and safety. People use them directly for health care, education and disaster management. Satellites help alleviate poverty and hunger, boost economic development across the world, and reduce the negative human effect on environment. Intersputnik uses its fifty years’ experience in the area of satellite telecommunications in order to contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals defined by the UN for the purpose of raising the general level of life and safety for all inhabitants of the Earth. In her statement, Ksenia Drozdova also dwelt upon the participation of women in space projects and called for support of the current generation of ‘space ladies’ and inspiration of the next one that would shape the nearest future of the space industry.
Ksenia Drozdova’s points were supported and expounded by professor Kai-Uwe Schrogl, President of the International Institute of Space Law. Speaking about regulation of space activities, he stressed that a regime regulating orbital motion to keep outer space safe could only be guaranteed through joint efforts of all those participating in the process. He noted that the use of outer space was a global commons, and therefore a situation where mega corporations lay down rules for the world community needed to be avoided. Also, professor Schrogl underlined the importance of satellite technologies in education. As components become smaller and cheaper, more universities and other research institutions are able to build their spacecraft giving rise to future national space programs.
Another notable event with Intersputnik’s participation within the framework of World Space Week was the discussion of closer cooperation in the field of outer space with representatives of Central American countries. A round-table meeting was arranged as a webinar at the initiative of the intergovernmental regional association ‘Central American Parliament’ (https://parlacen.int/ ). The event was attended by members of the Central American Parliament, representatives of the space agencies of Russia, Nicaragua, and Paraguay, as well as industry organizations of Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Costa Rica. Intersputnik described to the regional community of the Central American nations opportunities of procuring telecommunications and broadcasting satellites using a cooperative model in the interests of all countries in the region as well as options of promoting satellite telecommunications for the benefit of national economies and the region’s digital sector.