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World Space Week Kicks Off With 2012 Theme: Space for Human Safety and Security

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Oct 04, 2012 09:40 AM EDT

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Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo went on successful test flight.(Photo : Reuters)

World Space Week, the largest public space event on the planet, kicks off this week, starting October 4. In this U.N.-declared event, people all over the world will be celebrating space exploration and the way that is has helped improve humanity. Hundreds of events will take place as people celebrate the 2012 theme of "Space for Human Safety and Security."

In 1999, the United Nations declared the World Space Week would take place between October 4 and October 10 every year. These two dates honor important events that took place is space exploration history. On October 4, 1957, the first human-made Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched. This historic event opened the path for all future space exploration. On October 10, 1967, the Outer Space treaty was signed. This agreement set the ground for international space law.

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People around the world are welcome to celebrate World Space Week. Government agencies, businesses, non-profit groups, teachers and anyone else can organize and event in celebration of this week. The World Space Week Association (WSWA), which supports the U.N.,leads teams of National Coordinators who create specific events in various countries.

This year, there are over 400 events taking place in about 50 countries across the world. For a list of events in your country, check out the World Space Week Events Calendar.

Every year, there is a theme for World Space Week. The 2012 theme is  "Space for Human Safety and Security." This particular theme was chosen to educate people about the way activities in space can improve daily life on earth. This theme particularly focuses on the way Earth observation, navigation and telecommunication satellites can be use to protect humans and te environment.

For instance, these tools can help aid in search and rescue operations. They can support humanitarian aid efforts such as figuring out ways to deliver food to remote areas. They can help keep maritime activities safe. These tools also help scientists to measure air quality and pollution levels, deforestation and desertification and can help keep track of natural disasters across the globe.

World Space Week is celebrated as a worldwide educational event so that people can learn about how space benefits them. It encourages public support for space programs and aims to get children excited about science. Together, the world will have this week-long reminder of why space and science are so important.

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