Press Releases

UNIS/OS/359
1 October 2007

50 Years of Space Age: United Nations to Celebrate World Space Week 2007

UNPA issues a series of space stamps

VIENNA, 1 October 2007 (UN Information Service) - Space tours for children, special exhibition on 50 years of the space age and a forum "Civil Society and Outer Space" are some of the activities to observe the 7th World Space Week from 4 to 10 October in Vienna. The central topic of World Space Week this year is the 50th anniversary of the space age. To commemorate this, the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) will issue a series of "space stamps".

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. World Space Week is an ideal opportunity to learn about space and science, which is exciting especially for young people. It gives also the opportunity for all countries, space-faring and non-space-faring, to organize interesting and educational events. World Space Week International Association, a non-governmental, educational organization is coordinating worldwide events scheduled for World Space Week.

CHILDREN AND SPACE

As part of the activities for World Space Week 2007, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna, in cooperation with the Austrian Space Forum have invited school classes aged from 6 to 10 to participate in a "space tour" that includes Multimedia Presentation on Mars exploration and the AustroMars Expedition, an experiment with the Dignity Rover and demonstration of a spacesuit glove.

CIVIL SOCIETY AND SPACE

"Where do we stand on using outer space for peaceful purposes" will be the central topic of a Civil Society and Outer Space Forum that will take place during World Space Week, from 8 to 9 October, in the Vienna International Centre. The Forum is organized by the Vienna CONGO office (Conference of Non-governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations), in cooperation with UNOOSA, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, the European Space Policy Institute, the Space Generation Advisory Council and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency. The Forum will provide an overview of the current use of outer space, in particular those space applications responding to a large variety of societal needs as well as explore further possibilities of the use of space technology and its applications in the non-governmental sector.

SPACE EXHIBITION

A special exhibition on 50 years of the space age will be displaced in the Vienna International Centre, Rotunda, for the whole month of October, consisting of satellite and rocket models, special photo exhibition on the United Nations and Outer Space, including a historic overview of the meetings of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

SPACE STAMPS AND POSTERS

The United Nations Postal Administration will issue two sets of space stamps on 25 October 2007 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Space Age. With a central theme "Space for Humanity", the first set consists of six stamps and an overprint with the illustration of a space-shuttle and the text "World Space Week, 4-10 October 2007" below the design. A second sheet includes various images from space, including the International Space Station and the Shuttle-Mir and the Apollo Moon missions. A limited quantity of overprinted New York value souvenir sheets will be available at UNPA offices in New York and Vienna.

A poster based on artwork for the stamps has been produced jointly by UNOOSA and UNPA. To obtain a copy of the poster, please contact UNOOSA.

For more information on the World Space Week activities, visit the site on UNOOSA homepage at http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/wsw/index.html. Resources to help teachers conduct activities for World Space Week are available online at www.spaceweek.org.

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

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For information contact:

Romana Kofler
Associate Programme Officer, OOSA
Telephone: (+43-1) 260 60 4962
E-mail: romana.kofler@unvienna.org