International Day of Human Space Flight

We’re all for a bit of galactic exploring, which is why on April 12th, it is great to celebrate International Day of Human Space Flight. The celebration is a recognized day by the United Nations and is an excellent way of reaffirming humankind’s efforts in exploring beyond our home planet. But how did the day come about? And how can we observe it?

What Is The International Day of Human Space Flight?

In April 2011, the General Assembly declared that April 12th would be dedicated to acknowledging the achievements of humankind in space exploration. They also dedicated this day to finding sustainable ways of reaching their goals and considering the important contributions of those involved in the technology behind such efforts.

It was on April 12th, 1961, that the first human space flight was carried out successfully. It was the Soviet Yuri Gagarin who ventured where no man had been before. This was one of the world’s most historic events and made it possible for space exploration to become a reality.

Since that day, humankind has been exploring space in different ways, sending satellites (the first being the infamous Sputnik in 1957) and establishing a true human presence in outer space. Nowadays, the International Space Station houses six people who technically live in space. They travel at a speed of 5 miles per second, orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes. This is worthy of a dedicated day by itself.

It is easy to find out how many people are living in space at any time (thanks, Google), and there are even people who have lost their lives in space. These are all reasons to acknowledge the day and those who have actually ventured where few have been before.

How To Observe The International Day of Human Space Flight

The best way to get involved in this day is to do a little research. Delve into the history behind humankind in space, and it is sure to be an eye-opener. There are so many documentaries that can be watched, and it doesn’t have to be all about the moon landing – check out ‘First Orbit’. Why not look up the first woman to orbit the Earth, Valentina Tereshkova, in June 1963?

There are so many projects that can be done with the kids on this day. They love learning about planets, so why not have them draw the solar system and talk about the significant times humans have been into space? Then there is the famous space race between Russia and the United States, which always makes for fascinating reading.

Be sure to use the hashtag #InternationalDayofHumanSpaceFlight (yes, it is a bit of a mouthful!) to see how others are getting involved. Share your stories and knowledge to see if it might inspire others. A grandparent might have first-hand experience of remembering these events as they were happening, which can be fun to discuss.

It is an amazing feat, exploring space, so it is only right that we consider the achievements of those brave enough on International Day of Human Space Flight.

When is it?
This year (2024)
April 12 Friday
Next year (2025)
April 12 Saturday
Last year (2023)
April 12 Wednesday
Products & Technology , Science, United Nations