UNODA Short Course Outer Space

Efforts in the United Nations to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes


Efforts in the United Nations to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes began in 1957, a few months prior to the launch of the first artificial satellite into Earth´s orbit. Early proposals for prohibiting the use of space for military purposes and the placement of weapons of mass destruction in outer space. Preventing an arms race in outer space is one of the key actions outlined in the Secretary General´s Agenda for Disarmament (2018) which reflects the relevance of discussing such an issue even today. This course provides an overview of the key historical milestones and legal documents aimed at preventing the weaponisation and militarisation of outer space and helps the participant to understand the significance of maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes.

Objectives and Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, you will have acquired and understanding of:

  • The importance of working towards the prevention of weaponising outer space.
  • The historical milestones which have aimed at protecting the peaceful use of outer space.
  • The legal instruments governing the use of outer space for peaceful purposes.


Course level: Introductory

Methodology: Online Self-paced Course

Registration: Public Self-enrolment

Components and Methodology:

The course consists of 3 thematic modules:

  • Introduction to Disarmament: Machinery, Processes and the Role of the United Nations
  • Outer Space
  • Introduction to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)

The course is available in English and is held in the Disarmament Education Dashboard, thus participants need a computer or mobile device, with audio and reliable internet connection. No special software is required.


Upon successful completion of thematic modules, including examination and course evaluation a certificate of completion will automatically be issued to the participant.

Short-course Series

The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs Short Course Series aims at making available quality education material on disarmament, arms control, non-proliferation and issues cross-cutting with security, such as gender and development. The courses are targeted for and available to the general public at UNODA’S globally accessible e-Learning platform

In line with the UN Secretary-General’s Agenda for Disarmament this short-course series aims to contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.