Highlights of World Space Week 2019
The theme of World Space Week, October 4-10, 2019 will be “The Moon: Gateway to the Stars.”
In 2019, humankind celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first human moon landing of July 20, 1969. This historic event kept people glued to their black-and-white TV-screens all over the world, and marked the start of a new era for humanity. For the first time in our 200,000-year existence, we were not solely bound to Earth anymore.
The last person to set foot on our faithful satellite did so in 1972. But instead of sending humans to other heavenly bodies, space agencies then favored robotic missions across our solar system, deep space research with space telescopes, and crewed missions in low Earth orbit (LEO) with projects such as the Space Shuttle program, Mir, the Chinese Space Station and the International Space Station.
Interest in crewed exploration outside LEO has gained tremendous momentum during the past decade. Driven by the enthusiasm of ambitious entrepreneurs, some private companies are heading into a race to build the first human settlement outside Earth. Economic and social benefits promised by space exploration are obvious incentives to understand how the space race is back, and at the same time show why it is crucial to understand the need to protect our environment.
While Mars presents the ultimate goal, many acknowledge that the Moon will play a vital role in our efforts to discover the rest of our solar system. Whether it be as a source of material for necessary equipment and fuel, a place with a unique scientific vantage point, a commercial base, or a stop on the way to Mars is to be discussed and decided by the relevant stakeholders and decision makers.
World Space Week Association’s excitement for the lunar theme is strongly inspired by the presence of Apollo 11 crew member Buzz Aldrin on the Board of Directors and by the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Moon Village Association (MVA) at IAC 2018 in Bremen. In cooperation with MVA, we will seek global public input on the Moon in 2019.
World Space Week Association’s Board of Directors decided to devote the WSW 2019 theme to our nearest space neighbor to celebrate the incredible achievement of landing on the Moon and to spark consideration of the value of the Moon in humankind’s future space endeavors.