published on 3 October 2016 in space
World Space Week 2016
World Space Week (WSW) is a worldwide event that every year, from 4 to 10 October, celebrates the contributions of space science and technology to the improvement of human life (watch the video message of the Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti).
These were the words used by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 6 December 1999, during the 54th session: “The General Assembly declares 4 to 10 October World Space Week to celebrate each year at the international level the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition” (UN General Assembly resolution, 6 December 1999).
The two dates chosen as the beginning and end of the event commemorate as many milestones in space history:
- 4 October 1957: launch of the first artificial satellite in history into orbit around the Earth (Sputnik 1);
- 10 October 1967: signing of the Treaty on Principles (treaty governing the activities of States in the exploration and peaceful use of space, including the moon and other celestial bodies).
The objectives of World Space Week are: raising awareness worldwide on the theme of space; popularise STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, especially among young people; foster international cooperation on space activities.
During World Space Week, space agencies, aerospace companies, schools, planetariums, museums and astronomy associations worldwide organise outreach and awareness-raising events on the theme of space (on the website www.worldspaceweek.org you can register an event and view the map of all events planned worldwide).
Since 2000 (this year marks the 17th edition), the United Nations coordinates, with the support of the World Space Week Association, the event at the global level, selecting the theme for the World Space Week and connecting activities and events organised worldwide with each other through the international network of national coordinators (at end of the article is the historical list of WSW themes).
The theme chosen for 2016 is “Remote Sensing: Enabling Our Future”. The space missions for observation of the Earth and the intergovernmental work groups operating in the space sector will be discussed, with a focus on applications such as environmental monitoring, agriculture, land use mapping and location services (remote sensing).
This year’s poster was designed by Filip Glogoški, a 17 year old student from the School of Applied Arts and Design in Osijek (Croatia), who worked under the supervision of Professor Josip Kaniza. In the poster, Filip wanted to represent the role played by remote sensing in the understanding of our planet and in helping us to live sustainably.
Last year’s edition, whose theme was “Discovery” and which celebrated the exciting discoveries in space, ended with as many as 1900 events organised in 73 countries.
In addition to science outreach events in many schools worldwide (on the website www.worldspaceweek.org a number of creative ideas are proposed), the highlights organised for 2016 include: Virtual Field Trip Event and Colorado Space Heroes Hall of Fame in Colorado; Afternoon with NASA Astronaut Story in Florida (Museum of Science & Industry); 67th International Astronautical Congress in Mexico; Moon Workshops in Ireland (Science Foundation) and Digital Theatre in Northern Ireland (Armagh Planetarium); Space Lecture with twins astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly in the UK (where the testimonial is the cute alien Q Pootle 5 from animated television series of the same name); SpaceUp Barcelona in Spain; Astral Symbols in Vucedol Culture in Croatia; Open Source Festival in Ukraine (Korolev Museum); Astrophotography in Brazil; Radioastronomy in Bangladesh (American Association of Variable Star Observers); Planetarium Talks and Solar Observation in Malaysia; Space Tourism and Zero-G Activities and Space Fashion Show in Japan; Space-Themed Documentaries in American IMAX cinemas; Space-Themed Discussion in China (Chinese Society of Astronautics), Ethiopia (Entoto Observatory), India (Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design & Manufacturing and Indian Space Research Organisation), Chile, France, Germany.
World Space Week Themes (2000-2015)
- 2015 – Discovery
- 2014 – Space: Guiding Your Way
- 2013 – Exploring Mars – Discovering Earth
- 2012 – Space for Human Safety and Security
- 2011 – 50 Years of Human Spaceflight
- 2010 – Mysteries of the Cosmos
- 2009 – Space for Education
- 2008 – Exploring the Universe
- 2007 – 50 Years in Space
- 2006 – Space for Saving Lives
- 2005 – Discovery and Imagination
- 2004 – Space for Sustainable Development
- 2003 – Space: Horizon Beyond Earth
- 2002 – Space and Daily Life
- 2001 – Inspiration from Space
- 2000 – Launching the Space Millennium
by Enzo Scasciamacchia