International Awareness Days October

World Space Week

World Space Week
World Space Week

Are you starry-eyed?
Then launch yourself into
World Space Week
4-10 October

World Space Week takes place every year from 4-10 October.  The week celebrates the advances in space science around the world and the ways it has improved our lives.

Established in 1999, the week is an opportunity for everyone and anyone to get involved, educating people about space programs and encouraging children to get involved in space studies.

The start and end dates of World Space Week are also important: 4 October marks the anniversary of the launch of the first human-made earth satellite, Sputnik 1 in 1957, while 10 October marks the signing of the Outer Space Treaty in 1967.

If you want to “boldly go where no man has gone before”, there are always volunteers needed to raise awareness and help out.  The theme for the week this year is “Exploring new Worlds in Space” and it will focus on missions, for example New Horizons (NASA’s mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt – exciting times!

It was on 12 April 1961 that Yuri Gagarin made the first human space flight – he made one orbit around the earth.  Things have really advanced since then.  Now we have the International Space Station orbiting the earth 16 times a day at approximately 17,150 miles per hour, and it has been staffed continuously since 2 November 2000 – wow!  What would Yuri Gagarin think of that?

2011 was truely historic in the world of space travel and exploration, with the space shuttle mission coming to an end when Atlantis touched down for the final time at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on 21 July 2011.  It was on 12 April 1981, 30 years to the day after Gagarin’s space flight that NASA’s space shuttle was first launched.  The fleet started with Columbia, and there were also Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour.

At the World Space Week website you can find all about space week activities taking place this year, as well as details of all the previous years, and you can see the results of the week’s 2007 Inspiration Project – students were sent on a special zero gravity plane to experience the feeling of being in space!

If you fancy yourself as the next Neil Armstrong and have some out of this world ideas for events to celebrate the week, then visit the website and get your space suit on!