Project Update: Lunar Mission One Presented to UN Committee


As many of you will know, I was recently in Vienna presenting Lunar Mission One to the UN’s Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). I thought I’d give you an update on what I was doing there.

Shortly before our Kickstarter campaign started, I met Simonetta Di Pippo, the Director of the UN’s Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) who suggested an LM1 presentation to COPUOS.  Her predecessor Mazlan Othman is on our International Advisory Board and agreed it would fit in well with our international aspirations.

Although the UN General Assembly is in New York, it has offices in Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi. Its space department UNOOSA is based in Vienna and organises COPUOS.  COPUOS has grown over the years and this year consists of 90 Member States, plus a number of organisations with observer status.  It meets every two years, with science and legal subcommittees meeting before a main committee.  I presented to the COPUOS Main Committee on 16th June.

Although not a UK official, I was considered part of the UK Delegation, presenting a UK idea for international consideration.  The UK Delegation is made up of Foreign Office officials with the technical support of the UK Space Agency. The Agency’s Richard Crowther has been attending COPUOS for several years and was my principal guide.

I talked for about 12 minutes. It was one of a number of technical presentations, and from what I could see, it was the only presentation on a project or programme that was not led by a government.

There’s a photo here, and the presentation is here.

In addition to the US officials sitting alongside, I met with a foreign ministry official of another member state interested in LM1. Let’s see what happens…

I also met with the Executive Directors of the World Space Week Association (Michelle Mendes) and the Space Generation Advisory Council (Minoo Rathnasabapathy).  Both organisations are supporters of LM1, are themselves supported by the UN and are official observers to COPUOS. They therefore both provide us with very interesting links to UNOOSA and its political associations with national governments.

In the evening I attended the Queen’s official birthday party at the UK embassy and met the UK Ambassador to Austria (Susan le Jeune d'Allegeershecque). She is also the UK’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Vienna, so the UK delegation to COPUOS reports to her.

I observed the COPUOS proceedings the next morning and did some further networking, and had a working lunch with UK embassy staff including the Ambassador’s Counsellor. They kindly agreed to support LM1’s relations with UNOOSA and COPUOS in the years to come.

Stuart Clark’s article in the Guardian appeared on the day of my presentation. It’s a really interesting read - I know it’s been doing the rounds on social media, but if you haven’t read it yet, you can do so here

This is a really exciting time for LM1 and everyone who works on and supports the project. We’ll continue to build relationships with organisations such as the UN and will, of course, keep you updated with progress.


David Iron

Founder of Lunar Mission One