World Space Week: All You Need To Know

World Space Week

World Space Week is an international celebration of Science and Technology and their betterment for mankind, observed between 4-10 October every year. The World Space Week was declared by The United Nations General Assembly in 1999 to be observed every year from October 4-10. The week is celebrated under the resolution of the United Nations which was passed in the year 1999.

What we discuss:

  • World Space Week Theme
  • Background
  • Why 4th October?
  • Why 10th October?
  • A look at the Outer Space Treaty, 1967
  • Treaties Governing the Outer Space

World Space Week 2020 Theme

In the year 2019, the week was celebrated under the theme “The Moon: Gateway to the Stars.” This year the World Space Week is celebrated under the theme “Satellites Improve Life“. The theme for the year 2021 “Women in Space”.

As stated by the UN, the theme for the year is chosen so to let people understand the importance of satellites in daily life and how human lives are influenced by satellites such as in transportation, communications, telemedicine, environmental monitoring, weather forecasting, science, and in several other ways.


On 4th October 1957, the first human-made Earth satellite “Sputnik 1” was launched that opened the gates for space exploration. After a decade on 10th October 1967, the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration & Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies brought to force, as stated on the official website of UN.

Why October 4?

The World Space Week commences every year on October 4 because, it is the day when the first man-made satellite, Sputnik was launched from the Earth to Space in 1957.

Why October 10?

The World Space Week celebrations end on October 10 because the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and use of outer space was signed on this day. The treaty is also known as the
Outer Space Treaty, 1967 and Magna Carta of Space.

A Look At the Outer Space Treaty, 1967

The Treaty was opened for countries to sign in 1967. Till June 2019, the treaty was ratified by 109 countries. The treaty was ratified by India in 1982. Let’s take a look at the major provisions of the Magna Carta of Space:

As per the, The Outer Space Treaty presents the basic structure on international space law, including the following principles:

  • the exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind;
  • outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States;
  • outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means;
  • States shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner;
  • the Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes;
  • astronauts shall be regarded as the envoys of mankind;
  • States shall be responsible for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities;
  • States shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects; and
  • States shall avoid harmful contamination of space and celestial bodies.

Treaties Governing the Outer Space

There are some other treaties that govern the outer space for peaceful purposes, some of them are:

  • TCBM: Transparency and Confidence Building Measures in Outer Space
  • PPWT: Prevention on Placement of Weapons in Outer Space
  • PAROS: Prevention of Arms Race in Outer Space
  • Treaty on the threat or use of force upon outer space objects.

Wrapping Up

UN General Assembly by enforcing the resolution 54/68 of 6 December 1999, declared World Space Week, to celebrate the Space Science and Technology’s contribution to the betterment of the humankind. World Space Week celebrated every year from October 4-10 is the largest yearly space event in across the world.

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