Launching a Dream
The United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) announced that they will launch the Dream Chaser spaceplane in 2021—the UN's first ever space mission. “One of UNOOSA’s core responsibilities is to promote international cooperation in the peaceful use of outer space,” said Simonetta Di Pippo, director of UNOOSA.
The mission is a partnership between the UN and Sierra Nevada Corporation, an aerospace technology company that has previously partnered with other space explorations, such as NASA's New Frontiers program missions.
The Dream Chaser missions are designed to cater to countries without their own space programs and major scientific resources. UNOOSA will be accepting participation proposals and payloads from member countries by next year, when the UN will be briefing potential partners about the goals and framework of the mission. Selection will commence in 2018.
The UN is seeking for major sponsors to finance a large proportion of the space flight.
A People's Mission
Developing countries have priority for the trip, but any UN member state can participate in the 14-day flight to low-Earth orbit. The mission aims to be cost-effective with extensive technical support for participating countries. Dream Chaser is a reusable spaceplane capable of landing at both commercial airports and spaceports. It can land and launch at any available port of the member countries.
One of UNOOSA's founding motivations is the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). It aims to keep its mandate to protect people and to maintain a peaceful use of outer space. It also seeks to prevent space explorations from being a field of rivalry among international superpowers, an exploitation of countries with limited resources and technology.
The Dream Catcher is soaring toward the achievement of a dream of technology and advancement for all. The more minds that are able to come together, the further along we are in the journey to gain a better understanding of the universe around us.