World Space Week begins today. The international group of events is aimed at inspiring the next generation while celebrating Women in Space. There are thousands of events globally, and World Space Week runs until October 10.
Each and every year, World Space Week occurs from October 4 through October 10. This was declared World Space Week by the United Nations in 1999.
Why is World Space Week from October 4-10?
These are two very important dates in space. On this day, October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, into low Earth orbit. The 23-inch metallic sphere circled the Earth transmitting its beeps for three weeks before its internal batteries died. Within another two months, Sputnik’s orbit decayed and the satellite burned up in Earth’s atmosphere.
Sputnik 1 may have been short-lived, but it proved to the world that we can access space, and allows the Soviet Union to test transmission through the atmosphere and satellite tracking. Sputnik spurred the space race that brought US men to the Moon.
On October 10, 1967, the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space (more commonly known as simply, “The Outer Space Treaty”) went into effect. The outer space treaty serves as international space law, and lays out the following principles:
- The exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind;
- Outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States;
- Outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means;
- States shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner;
- The Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes;
- Astronauts shall be regarded as the envoys of mankind;
- States shall be responsible for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities;
- States shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects; and
- States shall avoid harmful contamination of space and celestial bodies.
World Space Week 2021
This year, World Space Week’s theme is celebrating Women in Space. The program will be, “celebrating accomplishments and contributions of women to the space sector and sciences.” World Space Week consists of space education and outreach events by space agencies, aerospace companies, schools, museums, clubs, and more. The simultaneous events around the world provide great in-person experiences, while online many companies will get in. With millions of attendees, World Space Week 2021 provides a great way to learn more and meet new people with like interests. Stay tuned this week as we provide some of our own coverage and educational pieces, and check out the World Space Week website to find events that may interest you.