World Space Week History
The early days
The World Space Week Association (WSWA) began in 1980 as the promotor of “Spaceweek”, a celebration of the first Moon landing, each July. The first celebration in Houston that year was led by Ernie Hillje, Troy Welch, David Koch, and Dennis Stone (see picture, left to right). In 1981 they formed “Spaceweek National Headquarters” to organize a nationwide celebration in the United States. By 1999 Spaceweek had spread to over 15 nations, when the UN General Assembly declared “World Space Week” to be held every year from 4 to 10 October. The new World Space Week Association took responsibility to organize this event on behalf of the United Nations from then onwards. The first UN-declared celebration of World Space Week took place in 2000.
Today, the World Space Week Association proudly supports the UN in the global coordination of World Space Week, each October 4–10. The World Space Week Association is led by a dedicated team of international officers and volunteers, that facilitates and coordinates a large global network of volunteers. The Association also holds a Permanent Observer position in the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, where the results of World Space Week are reported back every year.
Every year the World Space Week Association Board of Directors selects a theme to highlight an aspect of space with broad appeal to humanity. This theme provides guidance to World Space Week participants on the content of their programs. Event holders are encouraged to address the current year’s theme in their events and publicity.
2017 – Exploring New Worlds In Space
2016 – Remote Sensing – Enabling our Future
2015 – Discovery
2014 – Space: Guiding Your Way
2013 – Exploring Mars – Discovering Earth
2012 – Space for Human Safety and Security
2011 – 50 Years of Human Spaceflight
2010 – Mysteries of the Cosmos
2009 – Space for Education
2008 – Exploring the Universe
2007 – 50 Years in Space
2006 – Space for Saving Lives
2005 – Discovery and Imagination
2004 – Space for Sustainable Development
2003 – Space: Horizon Beyond Earth
2002 – Space and Daily Life
2001 – Inspiration from Space
2000 – Launching the Space Millennium