International Day for Human Space Flight – April 12, 2023

International Day for Human Space Flight takes place across the world on April 12. The day celebrates the first space flight and the first human being in space — the great Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin. This historic event opened up experiences for humanity like never before. Following Gagarin’s flight to space, there was a renewed enthusiasm for the study of spaces and the cosmos. The day also celebrates humankind’s remarkable progress in building a sustainable relationship with space and using the knowledge for the betterment of every inhabitant of our planet. International Day for Human Space Flight is a celebration of scientific temperament.

History of International Day for Human Space Flight

On April 12, 1961, the world as we knew it changed forever. It was on this date that the first human space flight took off with Yuri Gagarin in it. What a remarkable day for human innovation and perseverance! This event was a pioneer in making the way for space exploration that would benefit all humanity. After Gagarin’s flight, the United Nations General Assembly realized that all of humankind shared a common interest in promoting and expanding the study and use of outer space.

But years before humans would make their way to space, on October 4, 1957, the first human-made satellite — Sputnik I — was launched into outer space. One can agree that this event opened the way for space exploration and possibly sowed seeds for human visits, too. On April 12, 1961, Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth — this was a remarkable achievement that occurred only a few years after humans began to study space using modern technology.

Years later, after Gagarin’s space trip, the UNGA described the trip as an “amazing history of human presence in outer space and the remarkable achievements since the first human spaceflight.” At this point, it must be noted that only two years later, the Soviet Union sent Valentina Tereshkova into space, thus making her the first woman to orbit the Earth. Only seven years from then, Neil Armstrong became the first human to land upon the surface of the moon in July 1969. And in July 1975, the U.S. and the Soviet Union launched the first international human mission in space — docking the Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft together. In only a span of 15 years, humankind made progress in space exploration unlike ever before.

International Day for Human Space Flight timeline

1957
The First Living Thing in Space

A dog named Laika becomes the first mammal to visit space.

1958
NASA

NASA is founded in America.

1965
The First Spacewalk

Alexei Leonov is the first person to spacewalk.

1971
The First Space Station

The Soviet Union launches Salyut I as the world’s first space station.

International Day for Human Space Flight FAQs

In which year was the International Day of Human Space Flight first celebrated globally?

In 2011, the General Assembly recognized the 50th anniversary of the first-ever human spaceflight and declared April 12 as the International Day of Human Space Flight.

What happened during the landing of April 12, 1961?

On April 12, 1961, aboard the spacecraft, Vostok I, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin became the first human being to travel into space.

Did Yuri Gagarin orbit the Earth?

Gagarin completed one orbit of Earth on April 12, 1961.

International Day for Human Space Flight Activities

  1. Visit a planetarium

    If you have a child at home, take them to visit a space museum or planetarium on International Day for Human Space Flight. This will encourage their passion for science and technology and make them believe nothing is unachievable.

  2. Read about space

    Many astronauts who have visited space have written their accounts about it. These books are fascinating reads and can be incredibly exciting. Curl up with your favorite space-related book on International Day for Human Space Flight.

  3. Go skywatching

    Not all of us can go to space, but thankfully we can all skywatch. Celebrate International Day for Human Space Flight by gazing at the stars in the night sky. See if you can spot constellations, stars, and planets.

5 Facts About Space That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. The hottest planet in our solar system

    Mercury is the hottest planet — the temperatures may rise to 842 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Spacesuits are expensive

    A NASA spacesuit is priced at $12,000,000.

  3. One day on Venus

    One day on the planet is longer than one year — Venus takes 243 Earth days to complete one rotation.

  4. Footprints on the moon will last forever

    That’s because there’s no water, wind, or weather to disturb it.

  5. Saturn can float in water

    That’s because water is denser than Saturn.

Why We Love International Day for Human Space Flight

  1. It celebrates human progress

    International Day for Human Space Flight is a celebration of how far we have come in terms of science and technology. In less than half a century, humans have made many successful trips to space.

  2. It encourages scientific thinking

    International Day for Human Space Flight encourages rational thought and scientific thinking. Celebrations such as these also encourage future generations to study science and challenge themselves to conquer the impossible.

  3. It imagines the collective good

    International Day for Human Space Flight was started with the aim to celebrate actions for the collective good. The day urges us to leave behind our differences and use science and technology in such a way that every creature on the planet benefits from it.

International Day for Human Space Flight dates

YearDateDay
2023April 12Wednesday
2024April 12Friday
2025April 12Saturday
2026April 12Sunday
2027April 12Monday

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