World Space Week Celebrated On October 4-10

The World Space Week is celebrated from October 4 to 10. According to Mariya Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry expert, the idea to establish the world Space Week emerged during the Third UN Space Conference held in Vienna in July 1999. At that time the Moroccan delegation suggested that July 20 be proclaimed the World Space Day timed to coincide with landing of the US expedition onto the Moon. The Moroccan suggestion turned out to be rather controversial: although most delegations supported the idea for a special Space Day, the suggested date aroused a debate. The Russian delegation supported the idea in principle, but it could not agree on the date, as it was not quite correct and fair historically. Indeed, the space era in the human history started on October 4, 1957 following the USSR launch of the first artificial satellite of the Earth. Therefore the Russian delegation proposed October 4 as the World Space Day. The Russian suggestion was supported by Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, China, India, Cuba, South Africa, and a number of other countries. Some countries forwarded a proposal of their own - to celebrate this event on October 10, when the Treaty on Space came into force. The German representative even proposed to pass over this issue to the UN Space Committee for further development. When the debate was at its height, the Iranian delegate suggested that a Space Week be celebrated instead of the Space Day. It would last from October 4 to October 10. Most countries supported this proposal, Russia too, as it reflected two crucial dates: launch of the first artificial satellite of the Earth and enforcement of the Space Treaty worked out by Russian initiative. The suggestion to hold the World Space Week was endorsed unanimously by the conference participants.

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