World Space Week, 2020: Key Facts

Published: October 5, 2020

The World Space Week is celebrated between October 4, 2020 and October 10, 2020. The week is being celebrated under United Nations resolution that was passed in 1999.

Highlights

The week celebrates contributions of space science and technology. This year the week is being celebrated under the theme

Theme: Satellites Improve Life

In 2021, the week is to be celebrated under the theme “Women in Space”.

Significance

This year, the theme of the World Space Week shows the importance of satellites in daily life. This includes environmental monitoring, communications, transportation, telemedicine, weather forecasting, and science.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs is responsible for promoting peaceful uses of outer space.

Why October 4?

The World Space Week begins on October 4 every year. This is because, the first man-made satellite, Sputnik  was launched from the earth on October 4, 1957.

Why October 10?

The World Space Week celebrations end on October 10. This is because, the Treaty on Principles governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and use of outer space was signed on October 10. The treaty is also called the Magna Carta of Space. It is also called the Outer Space Treaty, 1967

Outer Space Treaty

It was opened in 1967 for the countries to sign. Till June 2019, 109 countries have ratified the treaty. India ratified the treaty in 1982. The following are the key provisions of the treaty

  • It prohibits placing nuclear weapons in space
  • It limits the use of celestial bodies including the moon for peaceful purposes alone
  • The space shall be used by all countries. However, no country shall claim sovereignty of outer space or any other celestial body.
  • The treaty has not banned military activities in space.
  • It provides regulations towards lunar and asteroid mining

Other Treaties

The other treaties governing the outer space for peaceful purposes are as follows

  • PAROS: Prevention of Arms Race in Outer Space
  • PPWT: Prevention on Placement of Weapons in Outer Space
  • TCBM: Transparency and Confidence Building Measures in Outer Space
  • Treaty on threat or use of force against outer space objects.

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