This year marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing by NASA’s Apollo space mission. More than anything, it was the ultimate demonstration of US technological prowess. But today, the rapid democratization of space technologies has made it possible for more countries to tap into that domain for defense, commercial and research purposes. Because of the availability of high-speed computers, innovative manufacturing processes, and new business models for launching rockets, it has become easier than ever for lesser countries to have a space mission. If they choose to, small states can now also play an important role in the abiding space race between big powers. In this closed-door roundtable, UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo will discuss the challenges, risks and benefits of a space program for small countries such as Singapore. Seeking to inform, this discussion with Director Di Pippo will shed much light on a vitally important topic that is unfortunately, not well understood nor appreciated at the moment.
About the Speaker
Simonetta Di Pippo is the Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), which is mandated to enhance international cooperation in space activities to promote their use for humanity. Prior to joining UNOOSA in 2014, she was Head of the European Space Policy Observatory at Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) in Brussels. Ms Di Pippo also served as Director of Human Spaceflight of the European Space Agency from 2008 to 2011, and Director of the Observation of the Universe at ASI from 2002 to 2008, where she started her career in 1986. She has been an Academician of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) since 2013, and since 2016 a member of the IAA Board of Trustees. Ms Di Pippo is also a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on space technology for 2016-18. Ms Di Pippo holds a master’s degree in Astrophysics and Space Physics from University “La Sapienza” in Rome, an Honoris Causa Degree in Environmental Studies from St. John University, and an Honoris Causa Degree of Doctor in International Affairs from John Cabot University. Ms Di Pippo was knighted by the President of the Italian Republic in 2006. In 2008, the International Astronomical Union named asteroid 21887 “Dipippo” in honour of her contribution to space activities.