United nations / China cooperation on the utilization of the China space station

Aimin Niu, Luc St-Pierre, Simonetta Di Pippo

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) launched the Human Space Technology Initiative (HSTI) in 2010. The Initiative is aimed to involve more countries in activities related to human space technology and its applications, human space flight and space exploration, and to increase the benefits from the outcome of such activities through international cooperation, contributing to broadening access to space and making space exploration a truly international effort. In cooperation with United Nations Member States, HSTI has been conducting annual events and different kinds of activities using space and ground facilities to bring benefits to more countries. China is developing and constructing its national space station and will put it into operation in space in around 2022. The Government of China made an official offer on the utilization of China Space Station (CSS) during the 55th session of COPUOS and in its Note Verbale to UNOOSA, which resulted in the signing of the cooperation agreements in 2016 between China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) and the United Nations, represented by UNOOSA. Under the Agreements, the project “UN/China Cooperation on the Utilization of CSS� was launched under HSTI to provide opportunities for United Nations Member States to fly experiments as the first step on board the CSS. The first announcement of opportunity (AO) inviting space experiments on board the CSS has been released to call for applications. On the basis of an overview of China manned space programme and the cooperation project, the scope of the first opportunities in three modalities, the eligibility criteria, the implementation procedures, and budget principle are presented, with discussion on the significance of such cooperation. The on-going process demonstrates that this cooperation project is an innovative and forward-looking initiative to open space exploration activities to all nations and to create a new paradigm in building capabilities in space science and technology, which is allowing access to space to address the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
StatePublished - 2018
Event69th International Astronautical Congress: #InvolvingEveryone, IAC 2018 - Bremen, Germany
Duration: Oct 1 2018Oct 5 2018


  • China
  • China Space Station (CSS)
  • Cooperation
  • United Nations
  • Utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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