World Space Week

World Space Week is observed in October, beginning on the 4th of the month and continuing until the 10th. It’s an international celebration of the science and technology that has taken humankind to the edge of space and beyond.

Every year, a theme is developed for this week that highlights a particular area of space exploration. For example, in 2021, the theme was “Women in Space.” This is a great week for people to take the time to reflect on the history of space exploration and to look forward to the future.

The History of World Space Week

World Space Week was created on December 6, 1999, when the UN General Assembly declared it to be an annual event that’s celebrated from October 4th through October 10th. These two dates were chosen because of their importance in space history.

October 4th marks the launch of the first human-made satellite, Sputnik 1, in 1957. October 10th commemorates the signing of the Outer Space Treaty in 1967. In October of 2000, this week was observed for the first time and has been celebrated ever since. By 2019, it was observed in 96 countries.

Some Amazing Space Exploration Facts

Anyone even mildly interested in space exploration is going to get a kick out of the list of facts that we’ve uncovered. We’ve listed these facts below for everyone’s entertainment, and we sincerely hope that they’re educational as well.

  • A spacesuit takes 45 minutes to put on and can weigh as much as 280 pounds.
  • The first artificial satellite launched by the U.S. was Explorer I. It was launched on January 31, 1958.
  • America’s first space station was Skylab. It was launched on May 14, 1973.

Observing World Space Week

World Space Week is observed with scientific exhibitions, special events at planetariums and telescopes, school activities, and government-sponsored events. As we mentioned in our introduction, every year this week is observed with a special theme.

In 2019, the theme was “The Moon: Gateway to the Stars” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. In 2020, the theme was “Satellites Improve Life.” This week is also usually promoted online using the hashtag #WorldSpaceWeek.

When is it?
This year (2024)
October 4 Friday
Next year (2025)
October 4 Saturday
Last year (2023)
October 4 Wednesday
Nature & Environment, United Nations