July 20th

Space Exploration Day -

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July 20th is a special date reserved annually to celebrate Space Exploration Day. This day honors the monumental achievement in 1969 when the first men, Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the moon’s surface under NASA’s Apollo 11 mission. The day serves to highlight the remarkable progress we’ve made in exploring the vast cosmos, to promote the importance of continuing such exploration, and to inspire up-and-coming generations to delve into space sciences.

On this day, we honor the past, celebrate the present, and look forward to the thrilling future of untapped cosmic exploration.

History of Space Exploration Day

Each year, on July 20th, the remarkable achievement of human space travel is celebrated in the form of Space Exploration Day. The historic lunar landing achieved by NASA’s Apollo 11 mission is commemorated by this important day. On July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon, securing their place in the annals of human history.

American writer and avid space enthusiast, J. David Baxter, came up with the idea for Space Exploration Day in 1971, two years after the monumental moon landing. This concept was met with widespread enthusiasm and approval from the scientific community, space exploration followers, and the public at large.

National recognition for Space Exploration Day in the United States was received in 1984 when then-President Ronald Reagan officially declared July 20th as a day to celebrate our strides in space exploration. In this proclamation, Reagan emphasized the importance of acknowledging scientific and technological strides and fostering an environment where future generations could freely pursue their curiosity.

Today, this day is celebrated globally with several activities designed to inform and inspire. Space Exploration Day is a reminder of our never-ending quest for knowledge, our achievements in space discovery, and our continued push towards new frontiers. It serves as an opportunity to look back on our achievements in space exploration and motivate future generations to consider careers in space exploration and related scientific fields.

Space Exploration Day Timeline

Launch of Sputnik 1

The Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, into space. This event marked the start of the space age.

First Man in Space

Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit Earth.

First Human to Walk on the Moon

NASA's Apollo 11 mission enabled Neil Armstrong to become the first person to walk on the moon.

First Space Station

Salyut 1, the first space station, was launched by the Soviet Union.

Launch of Voyager Probes

NASA's Voyager 1 and 2 were launched to study the outer Solar System and eventually push towards interstellar space.

Launch of Hubble Space Telescope

Hubble Space Telescope was launched into low Earth orbit, fundamentally changing our understanding of the universe.

Curiosity Rover Landing on Mars

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully landed Curiosity, the largest rover ever sent to Mars.

New Horizons Flyby of Pluto

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft captured stunning close-up images of Pluto, completing the reconnaissance of the Classical Solar System.

NASA's Perseverance Rover Landing on Mars

NASA's Perseverance rover landed on Mars to seek signs of ancient life and collect samples for future return to Earth.

Ideas to Celebrate Space Exploration Day

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Stargazing Night

Organize a stargazing night with your friends or family. Invest in a telescope or visit your local planetarium to observe different stars, planets, and galaxies.

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Rocket Building Contest

Host a rocket building contest where the participants make their own version of rockets using recyclable materials. This not only fosters creativity but also allows participants to learn more about rockets, its parts and functions.

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Space Movie Marathon

Prepare a selection of the best space-themed movies like 'Interstellar', 'Gravity' or 'The Martian' and spend the day with a cosmic film marathon, snuggled up with popcorn and drinks.

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Space-Themed Book Club

Organize a book club for a day, discussing popular space-themed literature and sharing thoughts about famous astronomers, astronauts, and their ground-breaking discoveries.

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Online Space Game Tournament

Host an online space game tournament inviting participants to engage in space-themed video games, enhancing their knowledge and interest in space exploration while having fun.

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Space Facts Trivia Quiz

Organize a space facts trivia quiz, exciting participants to learn more about our universe, its celestial bodies, and significant space exploration missions.

8 Interesting Facts About Space Exploration


Space Travel Alteration

Astronauts can grow approximately two inches taller after spending a prolonged period in space due to the absence of gravity which causes the vertebrae to expand.


Footprint on Moon

A footprint left by an astronaut on the moon could last for millions of years, because there is no wind or water to disturb it.


First Animals in Space

Before humans went into space, several animals like fruit flies, mice, monkeys, and dogs were sent up to space to study the survival of beings in space.


Mars Rovers

Mars Rover vehicles are operated by a team on Earth using a combination of autonomous systems and direct control. They move only a couple of hundred feet per day.


Proxima Centauri

The nearest star to our solar system, Proxima Centauri, is so far away that if we were able to travel at the speed of light, it would still take us over 4 years to reach it.


The Dark Side of the Moon

The 'dark side of the moon' is a myth. Both sides of the moon see the same amount of sunlight but only one face is ever seen from Earth because the moon's rotation period is the same as its orbital period.


Space Speed

The average speed of the space shuttle is 17,500 miles per hour. At this speed, you could travel to Los Angeles from New York in about 10 minutes.


Abundance of Stars

There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand in all the beaches on Earth.

Space Exploration Day FAQs

Next Space Exploration Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 July 20th Thursday
2024 July 20th Saturday
2025 July 20th Sunday
2026 July 20th Monday
2027 July 20th Tuesday
What is the pattern? Every July 20th

Space Exploration Day Word Search

  • Space
  • Exploration
  • Astronauts
  • Spaceship
  • Universe
  • Planets