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space week
Photo: World Space Week Association/2013

4 October 2016— World Space Week is observed from the 4-10 October each year at an international level to celebrate the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition. 

The dates recall the launch, on 4 October 1957, of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, and the entry into force, on 10 October 1967, of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies.

By Resolution 54/68 of 6 December 1999, the General Assembly proclaimed World Space Week, stressing the importance of promoting effective means of using space technology to assist in the solution of problems of regional or global significance and of strengthening the capabilities of Member States, in particular developing countries, to use the applications of space research for economic, social and cultural development.

The theme for this year’s World Space Week is “Remote Sensing – Enabling Our Future,” tying directly to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as images from space enhance UN efforts to promote sustainable development on Earth. 

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Soil erosion and deforestation shown in the mountains of Guatemala’s Quiche province. Photo: UN/John Olsson/2010

“Earth observation from space is a cost-effective way of obtaining unbiased and essential data on the physical world. Decision makers use this information to understand trends, evaluate needs, and create sustainable development policies and programmes in the best interest of all populations,” according to the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs

European astronauts have helped to shape the face of some of the most important human spaceflight missions in the past and will continue to shape the face of human spaceflight in the future.

Samantha Cristoforetti is an Italian European Space Agency astronaut, Italian Air Force pilot and engineer. She holds the records for longest single space flight by a woman and for the longest uninterrupted spaceflight of a European astronaut. Samantha Cristoforetti is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

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Samantha Cristoforetti and Paolo Rozera, Director General of UNICEF Italy. Photo: UNICEF Italia/2015

Between November 2014 and May 2015, Italian astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti, launched several video messages and tweets from the vast distance of space. Furthermore, Samantha Cristoforetti joined the UNICEF IMAGINE campaign, adding her voice to an expanding global chorus of John Lennon’s anthem for peace and hope, Imagine. 

The mission of World Space Week Association (WSWA) is to strengthen the link between space and society through public education, participation, and dialogue on the future of space activity using World Space Week as a focus.

There will be events across the world this week to mark World Space Week and commemorate space science and technology to date, with a total of 924 events registered worldwide for 2016. Follow this link and check out what is happening near you. 

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