Since 1990, the United Nations has held an annual workshop on basic space science for the benefit of the worldwide development of astronomy. Additional to the scientific benefits of the workshops and the strengthening of international cooperation, the workshops lead to the establishment of astronomical telescope facilities through the Official Development Assistance (ODA) of Japan. Teaching material, hands-on astrophysics material, and variable star observing programmes had been developed for the operation of such astronomical telescope facilities in the university environment. This approach to astronomical telescope facility, observing programme, and teaching astronomy has become known as the basic space science TRIPOD concept. Currently, a similar TRIPOD concept is being developed for the International Heliophysical Year 2007, consisting of an instrument array, data taking and analysis, and teaching space science.