12 April: International Day of Human Space Flight

Launch of the online autograph album "Messages from Space"
Launch of the online autograph album "Messages from Space Explorers to future generations"
Credits: UNOOSA

12 April is the International Day of Human Space Flight, declared by the General Assembly to commemorate one of the greatest triumphs of human progress, the first space flight by cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin that in 1961 paved the way for worldwide human space flight endeavour and exploration.

To pay tribute to the extraordinary journey of the men and women who have flown into space, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is launching its newest edition of an on-line autograph album entitled “Messages from Space Explorers to future generations“ that contains copies of the signed sheets with messages from Space Explorers in all of the official languages of the United Nations.

2013 is also the year marking fifty years of the first space flight by a woman, cosmonaut Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova, who on 16 June 1963, went boldly where no woman had ever gone before, spending three days in space and orbiting the Earth 48 times before returning home.

Cosmonaut Tereshkova herself will pay a visit to the United Nations in Vienna as a key speaker at a panel “Space: Building the future today”, organized by UNOOSA during the 56th session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on 12 June.