World Space Week (4-10 October)

 World Space Week (4-10 October)

World Space Week (4-10 October)

World Space Week is an annual event, observed during the week of 4-10 October.

By Resolution 54/68 of 6 December 1999, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed World Space Week, 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.

Each year, the World Space Week Association, in coordination with the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs, selects a theme for the upcoming World Space Week (WSW). The theme for 2012, “Space for Human Safety and Security”, has been chosen to celebrate the many ways in which satellites improve our daily lives.

Earth observation, navigation and telecommunication satellites are used everyday to protect humans and safeguard our environment. Here is a summary of some of their many important roles:

● Supporting humanitarian aid efforts, such as planning the delivery of food and medicines to remote areas
● Monitoring urban sprawl
● Contributing to the safety of maritime routing
● Aiding search and rescue operations
● Measuring air quality and pollution levels
● Monitoring deforestation and desertification
● Tracking forest fires, floods and the damage caused by other natural disasters

Today, the need to strengthen synergies in the area of space and security have been reaffirmed; a new initiative has been launched in Europe, called the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), to ensure the long-term availability and reliability of Earth observation data. GMES services are now gathering pace and should be fully operational by 2014.


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