From October 4-10 people all around the world will come together to celebrate World Space Week, the largest space event here on Earth. The theme this year honors Yuri Gagarin who became the first man in space on April 12, 1961. Only 3 countries and one company have successfully achieve manned spaceflight though several others are developing the technology.
[caption id="attachment_587" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Newspaper headline announcing Yuri Gagarin's historic flight into space on April 12, 1961. CREDIT: NASA"]
The first World Space Week was declared in 1999 by the United Nations General Assembly "[t]o celebrate each year at the international level the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition." The guiding forces behind the event are the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA). Other major affiliates include Turksat, SpaceX, the Secure World Foundation and SpaceIsle.com.
World Space Week is an event designed for everyone, from government agencies to individuals, everyone is invited to host an event celebrating some of the amazing contributions spaceflight has brought humans. The goals of these events are to inspire a new generation to continue pushing foward, to bring the many space oriented programs and companies to the spotlight and to create an international community of people.
Higlights from 2010 included a Water Rocket firing competition for school students in Karachi, Pakistan and a regional rocket launch launch in Alabama called Rocktober skies. On the calendar for this year is Tea with the Stars in Brazil and an Energy Systems Technology & Education Center (ESTEC) open house in the Netherlands. There are also plenty of film showings, seminars, classes and viewings on the calendar.
For ideas and materials to help you get started and spread the word visit WorldSpaceWeek.org
. You don't have to do something huge to participate. You can attend a talk, host a showing of your favorite space film, or donate to a space-related cause. They even provide free downloads of this year's and all previous years' poster to help you get the word out. Teachers take note, there's a special guide just for you to plan some space-related lessons.
We encourage you to participate in this exciting week, no matter where you might live.