The week from 4 to 10 October is World Space Week, an event organized by the United Nations every year to celebrate the contributions that space science and technology make to the advancement of humanity around the world, and this year the chosen theme is “Space and sustainability”, a topic that we at Solar MEMS feel strongly about and which we would also like to be part of.
What is World Space Week?
The General Assembly of the United Nations declared “World Space Week” on 6 December 1999, and since then it has been held in the week between 4 and 10 October, with its aim being “to help build up the workforce of tomorrow by inspiring students; demonstrate visible public support for the space programme; educate the public about space activities; and foster international cooperation in space outreach and education”, as stated by the UN on its website.
Every year it focuses on a topic, which this year is “Space and sustainability”, an issue that we are fully aligned with here at Solar MEMS, and we have often stressed the importance of working with space sustainability in mind, especially in light of the daunting data on space debris that is orbiting the Earth , the dangers of the Kessler Effect and responsible satellite operations, among other topics.
During this major annual event there are thousands of events to inform and educate about space which are organized by space agencies, aerospace companies, schools, planetariums, museums and astronomy clubs around the world. Concentrating all these events in the same week achieves greater visibility and public exposure through the press, and last year 2021 beat all records with no fewer than 6418 events held in 96 countries.
If you would like to participate and take part in World Space Week, this map shows the events which have been officially included, arranged by country to help you find ones that are closest to you.
And why it is held on these specific dates? The days when it starts and ends mark milestones for the space sector: On 4 October 1957 the first satellite ever made by humans, Sputnik 1, was launched, opening the way for further space exploration. Then, on 10 October 1967, the Treaty was signed that set out the principles that govern the activities of States in exploration and the peaceful uses of space beyond our planet, including the Moon and other bodies.
Responsible satellite operations and space rubbish
Space and sustainability
The goal of this year’s topic for World Space Week is to draw attention to the need to achieve sustainability in space and the close links between keeping outer space in good condition and the use we can make of it, especially the area that closely envelopes out planet that is known as Low Earth Orbit.
Space missions are vital to improve the conditions of life here on Earth, because space exploration and remote observation contribute towards the main goals of humanity such as stopping climate change and the pollution of the land and sea, to help agriculture in developing regions, etc. How can missions in space and the sector’s technology help with these goals? For example, they can measure temperatures and how they change, monitor the levels of contamination or light pollution from space, observe the climate and many other things.
In fact, according to the United Nations, 65 out of the 169 targets included in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals benefit directly from Earth observation satellites and other related technologies. Achieving these goals would therefore be much more difficult without the tools and technology developed by the space sector.
At Solar MEMS we are fully committed to sustainability in space as well as on the Earth. Our technology for solar sensors contributes to our planet’s renewable energies, we carry out continuous evaluation and monitoring of the company’s environmental impact in its area and we have made improvements in the packaging of our products that are sent around the world. From now on it will be biodegradable through the use of corn starch for filler and recyclable materials such as the use of 100% recycled plastic and polypropylene (PP) bubble wrap. Taking care of our planet and environment, including space, is everyone’s job.