It’s All About Sustainability at World Space Week 20224th Oct 2022
Every year, the industry celebrates World Space Week from 4-10th October. We honor some of the most significant milestones in history: the first man-made satellite, Sputnik 1, launching into space in 1957 and the ‘Outer Space Treaty’ being created in 1967. Last year over 90 countries and 6,000 events were held to celebrate the theme ‘Women in Space.’ This year, it’s all about ‘Space and Sustainability.’
Many countries celebrate the week in different ways, such as holding events with schools and universities, creating challenges, and spreading the word about space.
All about sustainability at World Space Week
It is no surprise sustainability is the 2022 theme. Sustainability in space has become a hot conversation in the industry, and many countries are taking steps towards creating a safer and cleaner orbital environment amid the rise of mega-constellations and space accessibility issues. WSW said the events would focus on sustainability by raising awareness, contributing to solutions using space technology, and promoting the long-term sustainability of outer space activities. In a statement, the organizers said:
“Sustainability in space relates to how humanity uses space, most pressingly, the orbital area surrounding Earth – itself a finite resource. At the start of 2021, there were 6,542 satellites listed as being currently in orbit by the UN. In order to ensure the sustainability of future space activities, we must ensure that space debris can be cleaned up, and not pose a threat to future missions.”
There have already been multiple announcements related to sustainability this year. In early September, US vice president Kamala Harris pledged new commitments from the government to support space-related STEM initiatives for the next generation. The UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) will also host webinars to discuss the theme of sustainability.
Australian Blue Origin passenger named spokesperson
In July, WSW named Chris Boshuizen as the spokesperson of the event. Boshuizen was a passenger of the second New Shepard flight last October and became the fourth Australian to experience spaceflight. He is also the co-founder and CTO of Planet Labs, a California-based Earth imaging company. Boshuizen said:
“I’m thrilled to be the World Space Week 2022 Spokesperson. My trip to space was truly life-changing, and my message to the world is that the era of private spaceflight is here. We are no longer held back by the restrictions of the past (our nationality, or physical limitations) and as the cost comes down, more people will get to go. And as they do, we will see new profound breakthroughs in science and technology, daring new art being created, and we will be changed for the better by the experience. I can’t wait till you have your chance to go!”.
Among promoting the worldwide event, Boshuizen is also hosting a mentorship challenge, where five individuals will be chosen for one-on-one mentorships with the space entrepreneur. Candidates will be between 18 and 35 years old, must have a prior engagement with WSW, and need to be interested in pursuing a career in space.
This is the 65th anniversary of Sputnik 1, which was the beginning of a long history of satellites being a part of our everyday technology. You can find details of the week’s events here.