Special event coorganized with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs; moderated and sponsed by the NGO Youth Representatives to DPI with support from UN NGO Relations  

Date: 6 October 2017
Time: 1:30 - 2:45 p.m.
Location: Conference Room 8, UNHQ, New York 


Photo Gallery

UN Champion for Space and former retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Director of the UN Office for Outer Space, Simonetta Di Pippo joined the Youth Representatives of DPI/NGO-led event to raise awareness about pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) careers.

" scrolling="no" src="https://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1722935254001/?bctid=5598720646001&autoStart=false&secureConnections=true&width=480&height=270" title="Scott Kelly's Conversation with DPI NGO Youth " width="480">At the event titled “Reach for the Stars: Encouraging Youth to Pursue Careers in STEM” , the esteemed speakers had an inspiring conversation with the youth and encouraged young minds to opt for STEM careers, specifically space exploration, to help sustain development processes and build stronger nations.

In this regard, Mr. Kelly pointed out that space exploration serves an inspiration for children and adults alike to achieve the most challenging goals facing humankind. Additionally, Ms. Di Pippo added that her professional career in STEM keeps her motivated to learn and discover something new every day and generally helps her live a better life.

Highlighting the role of international cooperation for successful space missions, Mr. Kelly added that conflicts between countries that seem relevant on Earth seem entirely nonexistent aboard the International Space Station, where communication with colleagues from different nationalities is often a form of life support.

“We rely on each other for physical support, for emotional support, sometimes for our lives,” said Mr. Kelly.

The speakers underscored that space exploration is not only a powerful tool for international diplomacy but they also help development of nations that have been less advanced in those areas before.  

Furthermore, Ms. Di Pippo pointed out that involving Member States to support and facilitate education is a long-term objective. This in turn, she added, will ensure that young girls and people from marginalized groups have access to STEM fields.

In concluding remarks, the speakers urged the young audience to continue pursuing their dreams in the field of STEM, with Mr. Kelly remarking, “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”

A Conversation With youth With Special Guests:

 The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) appointed Scott Kelly as United Nations Champion for Space. Mr. Kelly will help UNOOSA promote space as a tool for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, as well as raise awareness of UNOOSA's activities and the upcoming UNISPACE+50 event in June 2018. UNISPACE+50 will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and be an opportunity for the international community to set the future course of global space cooperation and governance. Mr. Kelly is a former NASA astronaut who holds the record for the most cumulative number of days spent in space by an American astronaut. He is known for his "year in space", during which he and NASA partnered with UNOOSA on the #whyspacematters campaign to call attention to the role space-based science technology and its applications can play in sustainable development. The Champion for Space role is based on the United Nations Messengers of Peace model, whereby distinguished individuals agree to help focus worldwide attention on the work of the United Nations. Mr. Kelly's term as Champion for Space will be for an initial period of two years.
Scott KellyThe United Nations Champion for Space and Retired NASA Astronaut 
 Simonetta Di Pippo is the Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), which is mandated to enhance international cooperation in space activities to promote their use for humanity. Prior to joining UNOOSA in 2014, she was Head of the European Space Policy Observatory at Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) in Brussels. Ms. Di Pippo also served as Director of Human Spaceflight of the European Space Agency from 2008 to 2011, and Director of the Observation of the Universe at ASI from 2002 to 2008, where she started her career in 1986. She has been an Academician of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) since 2013, and since 2016 a member of the IAA Board of Trustees. Ms. Di Pippo is also a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on space technology for 2016-18. Ms Di Pippo holds a Master’s Degree in Astrophysics and Space Physics from University “La Sapienza” in Rome, an Honoris Causa Degree in Environmental Studies from St. John University, and an Honoris Causa Degree in International Relations from John Cabot University. Ms. Di Pippo was knighted by the President of the Italian Republic in 2006. In 2008, the International Astronomical Union named asteroid 21887 “Dipippo” in honour of her contribution to space activities.
Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs 


Additional Resources: 


Reach for the Stars: Encouraging Youth to Pursue Careers in STEM