Former astronaut Scott Kelly appointed UN Champion for SpaceListen /
Former astronaut Scott Kelly appointed UN Champion for Space
A former American astronaut whose year-long journey in space captivated people worldwide will now help the United Nations to promote space as a tool for achieving sustainable development.
Scott Kelly, who retired from the US space agency, NASA, in April, was on Sunday appointed United Nations Champion for Space by the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).
The announcement was made in Dubai at the first High Level Forum on Space as a Driver for Socio-Economic Development organized by UNOOSA and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency.
Dianne Penn reports from Dubai:
Scott Kelly and Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko spent a year in space beginning in March 2015 to learn how being in space affects the human body.
Now back on earth, he will support UN efforts that link space with sustainable development.
Mr Kelly told UN Radio he was honoured to be working with the UN.
"You know, it's an honour to be the first person to be able to serve in this role, to be an advocate for space flight and how important it is to our species, to our future, to our economies around the world; how it gives us this unique place that is a common ground where all countries can come together and do something for the common good of us all. So yeah, it's very much an honour."
As UN Champion for Space, Scott Kelly will also raise awareness of UNOOSA’s activities, including the June 2018 commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, or UNISPACE+50.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.