Yuri’s Night is observed each year on April 12. Yuri’s Night is also popularly known as The World Space Party. This day commemorates the first man to launch into space, as well as humankind’s extraordinary achievements in space exploration. This day also celebrates all that humanity brings with us as we explore the cosmos — music, art, science, culture, and each other! The day aims to use space to bring the world together, to empower the greatest parts of who we are, and to give a vision of where we are going. It is also the realization that great things can happen in space exploration and astronomical sciences if human beings live together in peace and harmony.
History of Yuri's Night
Yuri’s Night was started by Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides, George T. Whitesides, and Trish Garner during the Space Generation Forum at the UNISPACE III conference in 1999. Wishing to specifically celebrate the launch of Sputnik I, in 2000, Yuri’s Night was announced as an event in Los Angeles, but those from the Space Generation Forum hosted their celebrations around the world at the same time. Hence why The World Space Party was born.
Yuri’s Night is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to educating and developing future generations of explorers. They organize events, host projects, and encourage the exploration of new ideas. The day combines space-themed partying with education and outreach. These celebrations are organized in commemoration of Yuri Gagarin, who became the first human to venture into space on April 12, 1961. This also includes the celebration of the inaugural launch of the first space shuttle on April 12, 1981. Yuri’s Night supports central event organizers around the planet with information, logos, multimedia, and publicity. These events can range from an all-night experience of techno and technology at a NASA Center, to a movie showing and stargazing, to a gathering of friends at a bar or barbecue. The live webcasts of the events include a range of guests including artists, astronauts, musicians, Mars scientists, and cultural icons.
The mission of Yuri’s Night is to encourage leaders to pursue their dreams, build communities based on a shared vision, bridge social and cultural barriers, and encourage science literacy. Yuri’s Night aims to create ‘the Overview Effect’ by inspiring individuals to take ownership of our planet and the future of humanity.
Yuri's Night timeline
Gagarin is born in the Russian town of Klushino on 9 March.
Gagarin is commissioned as a lieutenant in the Soviet Air Forces.
Gagarin becomes the first man in space on April 12.
Gagarin dies in a crash during a routine training flight on 27 March.
Yuri's Night FAQs
What did Yuri Gagarin do in space?
On April 12, 1961, Gagarin was launched into orbit by a Vostok rocket and became the first man in space. After completing one orbit, the spacecraft’s automatic controls brought him safely back to Earth.
How long did Yuri Gagarin stay in space?
Yuri Gagarin stayed in space for one hour and 48 minutes.
What was the first animal to orbit space?
The first animal to make an orbital spaceflight around the Earth was the dog Laika, aboard the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 on November 3, 1957.
Yuri's Night Activities
Watch a live webcast
The celebrations of Yuri’s Night are shown live across the world on various online channels. Tune into one such event to celebrate Yuri’s Night with everyone.
Visit a planetarium
You can celebrate Yuri’s Night by visiting the local planetarium. Check out the events of the day and spend some time learning about the wonders of our universe.
Go stargazing with your friends on Yuri’s Night. Make sure to carry a telescope and a camera to capture the wondrous night sky.
5 Facts About Yuri Gagarin That Will Blow Your Mind
He was short
Yuri Gagarin was only five feet and two inches tall.
His duration in space was short
The whole journey lasted around 108 minutes.
The Gagarin crater
A crater on the Moon is named after Gagarin.
His family faced Nazi atrocities
The Gagarin’s were evicted from their family home in Russia.
Fascinated by airplanes from a young age
He joined an aero club in school.
Why We Love Yuri's Night
Yuri’s Night encourages scientific literacy
Since Yuri’s Night is dedicated to encouraging and developing the next generation of space explorers, the day encourages scientific thinking among us all.
The celebration brings us together
Yuri’s Night is not just about Gagarin’s visit to space — the day was created to celebrate the common ties between all of us and what we can do to live together in peace and harmony.
We celebrate an important event in history
Yuri’s Night celebrates a landmark event in human history, that of the first man going to space. Since 1961, humankind’s progress in the realm of space exploration has been remarkable.
Yuri's Night dates