Press Releases

UNIS/OS/316
3 October 2005

Discovery and Imagination: United Nations to Celebrate World Space Week 2005

School Children Are Invited to Design a Mars Base

VIENNA, 3 October (UN Information Service) -- Events in almost 50 countries around the world are planned as part of this year's international celebration of World Space Week, which is observed by the United Nations annually from 4 to 10 October. The theme for the 6th World Space Week is "Discovery and Imagination".

World Space Week celebrates the contribution of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition. Endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1999, it marks the anniversary of two milestones in the human exploration and use of outer space: the launch of the first artificial satellite, SPUTNIK I, on 4 October 1957, and the entry into force of the Treaty Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, which took place on 10 October 1967.

The theme "Discovery and Imagination" highlights the impact that exploration has on the human imagination and the inspiration of youth. In particular, World Space Week is an ideal opportunity to make learning about space and science exciting for students. As always, the theme gives the opportunity for all countries, space-faring and non-space-faring, to organize interesting and educational events. Worldwide events scheduled for World Space Week are coordinated by Spaceweek International Association, a non-governmental, educational organization.

As part of the activities for World Space Week 2005, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) and the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna have invited school classes aged 10-14 to participate in designing a base on Mars. The students have been asked to build a model of a Mars base that is suited to the conditions on Mars and that includes everything researchers need to survive and work on the planet. After building the base, participating groups will be asked to submit a photo of the base and a short description of the base and its functions to OOSA by 11 November. The winning projects will be displayed on the OOSA homepage. Certificates of recognition will be provided to all participating classes. 

For more information on the school project, visit the UNIS Vienna homepage at www.unis.unvienna.org . Resources to help teachers conduct activities for World Space Week are available online at www.spaceweek.org  and www.unoosa.org .

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The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) 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. Located in Vienna, Austria, OOSA maintains a website at  http://www.unoosa.org .

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For information contact:

Raechelle Newman
Associate Programme Officer, OOSA
Telephone: +43 1 260 60 4946
E-mail: raechelle.newman@unvienna.org