UN marks 55th anniversary of first human flight into outer space
12 April 2016 – The United Nations today observed the International Day of Human Space Flight to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the first human space flight, which ushered in the beginning of the space era for mankind.
On 12 April, 1961, Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet citizen, became the first human to enter outer space. This historic event opened the way for space exploration for the benefit of all humanity.
To pay tribute to the extraordinary journey of the men and women who have flown into space, and capture their unique perspectives and experiences in a distinctive collection, the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is inviting past and present space explorers to sign an autograph sheet and provide a message that might inspire future generations.
The 2016 edition of this autograph album contains a copy of the signed sheets received from 68 participating space explorers from 20 nations as well as their messages in the United Nations official languages. It also contains a copy of the autographs of Yuri Gagarin and Edward H. White on their visit to United Nations.
In 2011, the UN General Assembly declared 12 April as the International Day of Human Space Flight “to celebrate each year at the international level the beginning of the space era for mankind, reaffirming the important contribution of space science and technology in achieving sustainable development goals and increasing the well-being of States and peoples, as well as ensuring the realization of their aspiration to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes.”
The Assembly expressed its deep conviction of the common interest of mankind in promoting and expanding the exploration and use of outer space, as the province of all mankind, for peaceful purposes and in continuing efforts to extend to all States the benefits derived there from.
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