NASA and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) pledging cooperation in areas of science and technology to support the peaceful use of outer space.

The MOU, signed Thursday, Dec. 17, brings together NASA’s wealth of publicly available Earth observation data and dynamic exploration opportunities with UNOOSA’s unique position as the only U.N. entity dedicated to outer space affairs.

“From suborbital flights, to the International Space Station, to the Moon, Mars, and beyond, our scientific and exploration activities represent a singular opportunity for the advancement of human knowledge and international partnerships,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “In cooperation with UNOOSA, NASA’s Earth observation data and capabilities can greatly improve life here on Earth, informing efforts to fight famine, support disaster relief efforts, and even improve water management and sustainable urban development. 

Through this cooperation, UNOOSA and NASA will develop ways to leverage NASA’s Artemis program as part of UNOOSA’s Access to Space for All Initiative, which offers opportunities for international researchers and institutions to take part in this unprecedented journey of discovery.

“We are proud to conclude this historic MOU with NASA. Our partnership will create new opportunities for the global space community, building on UNOOSA’s work helping countries leverage space to improve people’s lives,” said UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo. “NASA’s know-how and capabilities are unique and together we will be able to open doors for all countries, in particular developing ones, to take part in the benefits of the next exciting phase of space exploration and gain new tools to advance sustainable development.”

The two organizations also will work together on public outreach to increase awareness and understanding of the global benefits that can accrue from increased investments in the use of space.

NASA’s Artemis program will send the first woman and next man to the Moon while establishing a sustainable and permanent presence on the lunar surface by the end of the decade. The agency also will use the experiences gained exploring and living on the Moon to prepare for its next giant leap, the human exploration of Mars.

Learn more about how NASA is returning to the Moon to prepare for Mars by going to: