April 12th

International Day for Human Space Flight -

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The International Day for Human Space Flight is observed worldwide every year on the 12th of April. This special day, recognized by the United Nations, celebrates the early stages of exploring space and the huge strides it has made in terms of science and technology. The date is significant as it marks the first journey to space by a human - Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s flight on April 12, 1961.

The goal of this day is to spark inspiration and to emphasize the importance of furthering human understanding through the exploration of space.

History of International Day for Human Space Flight

The International Day for Human Space Flight was instituted by the United Nations to commemorate the start of mankind’s journey into space and underscore the significant role of space science and technology in our lives. The aim is not just to celebrate our achievements in space exploration, but also to promote the use of outer space technology for peaceful purposes and economic development.

The significance of April 12 dates back to 1961 when Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made history by becoming the first human to orbit Earth. This remarkable feat served as a catalyst for scientific and technological advancements in astronautics.

A resolution to designate April 12 as the International Day of Human Space Flight was introduced by Russia and adopted at the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly on April 7, 2011. Since 2012, the International Day for Human Space Flight has been observed around the world as a recognition of mankind’s aspiration to utilize space for peaceful purposes and the pursuit of sustainable development.

Today, countries across the globe celebrate this event with various activities like education and public outreach programs to increase awareness about space technology and the landmark achievement that this day embodies.

International Day for Human Space Flight Timeline

First Human Space Flight

Yuri Gagarin, a Russian astronaut, became the first human to orbit the Earth in Vostok 1.

First Woman in Space

Valentina Tereshkova, a Russian astronaut, became the first woman to orbit the Earth.

First Humans on the Moon

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, American astronauts, became the first humans to land on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission.

Salyut 1 Launch

Russia launches Salyut 1, the first space station.

Space Shuttle Launch

The United States launches the space shuttle Columbia, the first reusable spacecraft.

International Space Station

The first modules of the International Space Station are launched into space. It becomes habitable by November 2000.

First Commercial Crew Spaceflight

SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft successfully delivers NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, marking the first commercial crew spaceflight.

Ideas to Celebrate International Day for Human Space Flight

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Stargazing Night

Organize a stargazing event where participants can learn about constellations, planets, and other celestial bodies. A professional astronomer could be invited to share insights into space exploration history and recent advancements.

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Space Film Marathon

Plan a movie marathon featuring films about space exploration such as 'Interstellar', 'Gravity', 'The Martian' etc. After each film, discussions could be held about the scientific aspects portrayed in the film and how closely they mirror reality.

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Presentation on Human Space Flight

Invite a space scientist or a professor to prepare a presentation about milestones in human space flight. This can include significant events, such as Yuri Gagarin's first orbit of Earth, and the Apollo moon landing.

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Space Science Exhibition

Hold an exhibition featuring models of space vehicles, rockets, satellites, and ISS. Explain their purpose and operation to the visitors. Also, include a section for space photographs featuring galaxies, nebulae, and stars.

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Planetarium Visit

Plan a visit to a local planetarium. Many planetariums run guided shows, where they explore different themes related to space. It can be a very informative and exciting way to celebrate the day.

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Rocket Launch Live Stream

Coordinate a live-stream viewing party of a scheduled rocket launch. During this, discuss the mission's objective, the technology behind rocket launches and what it means for future space endeavors.

7 Interesting Facts About Human Space Flight


First Human in Space

The first human to enter space was Yuri Gagarin, a Russian astronaut, who orbited Earth on April 12, 1961, in his spacecraft, Vostok 1. This marked the beginning of human space exploration.


Longest Time in Space

The record for the longest continuous time in space by a human is held by Russian astronaut Valeri Polyakov, who spent nearly 437 days aboard the Mir space station, from January 1994 to March 1995.


First American in Space

Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. was the first American astronaut to travel to space. He made his journey aboard the Freedom 7 spacecraft on May 5, 1961.


First Woman in Space

Valentina Tereshkova, a Soviet astronaut, was the first woman to travel into space. She orbited Earth 48 times aboard Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963.


First Lunar Landing

Apollo 11, a NASA mission, made the first successful human landing on the Moon on July 20, 1969. The astronauts who stepped on the lunar surface were Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong.


Most Spacewalks by an Astronaut

Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Solovyev holds the record for the most spacewalks carried out by an astronaut. Throughout his career, he completed 16 separate spacewalks.


Oldest Person to Go to Space

William Shatner, an actor portraying Captain Kirk on the original Star Trek, holds the title for being the oldest person to go to space. He was 90 when he rode aboard a suborbital spacecraft that grazed the edge of outer space.

International Day for Human Space Flight FAQs

Next International Day for Human Space Flight Dates

Year Date Day
2023 April 12th Wednesday
2024 April 12th Friday
2025 April 12th Saturday
2026 April 12th Sunday
2027 April 12th Monday
What is the pattern? Every April 12th

International Day for Human Space Flight Word Search

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