For information only - not an official document

10 April 2014

UN Outer Space Office celebrates International Day of Human Space Flight

VIENNA, 10 April (UN Information Service) - To mark the anniversary of the historic first human space flight the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is organizing a variety of events this year as well. "The exploration of outer space is a truly global undertaking and I hope that the International Day of Human Space Flight will inspire young people, in particular, to strive towards new frontiers of knowledge and understanding," says the new Director of UNOOSA, Simonetta Di Pippo, in her  video message for the International Day of Human Space Flight celebrated on 12 April.

On 11 April, UNOOSA will launch the third edition in the series "Messages from Space Explorers to future generations". This collection of messages from men and women who have travelled into space serves as a tribute to their achievements and is an inspiration for future generations. The present edition contains 57 messages from 20 countries, including from the first woman in space, the pilot of the Apollo 16 Lunar Module, the current Administrator of NASA and from the first Chinese woman in space, and will be available on the UNOOSA website at

A unique exhibition showcasing examples of handwritten messages UNOOSA has received from the many men and women who have travelled into space after Gagarin's historic flight can be viewed in the Vienna International Centre from 7 to 18 April. The exhibition can be visited as part of the regular guided tours organized by the  UNIS Vienna Visitor's Service during these two weeks.

The Office will also be conducting a live Twitter Chat with astronaut and UN Expert on Space Applications, Takao Doi, on 11 April starting at 15:00 CEST. Mr. Doi, who was an astronaut prior to joining the United Nations, will concentrate on the Office's Human Space Technology Initiative and the importance of human space flight. Participants can send questions to @UNOOSA using #OOSAChat from today.


On the International Day of Human Space Flight

Fifty years after 12 April 1961, when Yuri Gagarin became the first human to go into space, the United Nations General Assembly declared 12 April as the International Day of Human Space Flight in celebration of this new era of human endeavour.

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UNOOSA implements the decisions of the General Assembly and of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its two Subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee. The Office is responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, and assisting developing countries in using space science and technology. UNOOSA deals with a wide range of scientific, technical, legal and policy aspects of space activities and works closely with countries and their space agencies, as well as other international organizations. Located in Vienna, Austria, UNOOSA maintains a website at

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For further information, please contact:

Sinead  Harvey
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) 
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-8718 
Email: sinead.harvey[at]

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