Floating in near zero-gravity, 400 kilometres above the Pacific Ocean and flying at over 28,000 kilometres per hour, the six crew members onboard the International Space Station (ISS) joined the key United Nations forum on outer space affairs via video link on Wednesday, to discuss the importance of working together.
Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev delivered a very simple yet powerful message to the UN forum.
“Peace for our planet,” he declared, as the audience erupted in applause.
Commander Feustel highlighted the importance of everyone having access to space:
“I hope that as we continue forward as an international group, that we will all put our common thoughts and rational thoughts” in how space is used, together, he said, recognizing “that the goal should not necessarily be to dominate space, but to help facilitate access so that we as a species – not just as individual nations or individual people – can continue on into the future.”
International cooperation in space
In response a question on the importance of international cooperation in space exploration, Commander Feustel, explained that such partnership not only helps keep costs down, but also helps develop technologies and innovations which are vital for space exploration.
“All of our partners have a great experience in space and they are all very different experiences. What we are doing right now requires all these different assets come together,” he said.
Future in space depends on partnerships
German astronaut Alexander Gerst took a question on how countries that are new to space, could engage in exploration that would benefit the world.
The “key” to answering that, he said, was to look at the International Space Station.
We built the International Space Station with modules from different countries … more than 100,000 people built this.”
Future success in space depends on partnerships, he said, suggesting that new countries can partner with experienced ones to build new modules, for example, and continue to develop the International Space Station for more advanced undertakings.