World Space Week is held annually from 4 to 10 October to celebrate the scientific and technological advancements that have been instrumental to the benefit of human lives.
In the year 1999, the United Nations General Assembly announced that World Space Week would be celebrated annually from 4 to 10 October. The dates were chosen to celebrate two momentous occasions- the launch of the Sputnik I on 4 October 1957, and the anniversary of the signing of the Outer Space Treaty on 10 October 1967, which governs the peaceful uses of outer space, including celestial bodies like the moon.
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World Space Week is considered the largest space event on the planet and commemorates the contributions and achievements of thousands of people in the fields of space science and technology.
This year, the theme for World Space Week is “Women in Space”. Several events have been organised around the world for the same. In the times of the pandemic, many of these events will be held virtually.The Society for Space Education Research and Development (SSERD) in Bangalore has organised an outreach programme from 4 to 17 October to mark the occasion. The celebrations will include many outreach activities for students, teachers and the general public, as well as expert speakers talking about the theme of women in space.
Every year, thousands of people participate in the global celebratory event. In 2020, around 6,500 events were held in over 60 countries to mark the occasion of World Space Week. In 2021, 90 countries will be participating in the event. During World Space Week, educational programmes on space such as webinars and outreach programmes are organised by schools, museums, aerospace organisations, space agencies and astronomy clubs. The purpose behind these programmes is to discuss the benefits we receive from space, foster international cooperation in the arena of space exploration, promote the greater use of space for sustainable economic development and encourage the youth to be excited about space exploration.