International Day of Human Space Flight

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 14, 2022, 8:16

The first successful human flight was executed on April 12th, 1961 by the Soviet Union. This historical event of the first human space mission set the way for future space exploration for the benefit of all humanity. This is why the United Nations (UN) declared the date to commemorate the International Day of Human Space Flight each year to pay tribute to the historic event.

We commemorate world space day in honour of Yuri Gagarin, the first human to travel to space. He was a Soviet cosmonaut and pilot. For 108 minutes, the spaceship named Vostok 1 circled the Earth at a speed of 27,400 kilometres per hour. He was able to complete one circle around the earth with his spacecraft called Vostok 1. The spaceship was launched from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome on a Vostok K rocket. Since 1963, the 12th of April has been marked as Cosmonautics Day in the Soviet Union, and it is still celebrated in Russia and certain former Soviet territories.

International Day of Human Space Flight Significance

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) recognised April 12th as the International Day of Human Space Mission to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first human space flight in 2011.

The proposal was approved on April 7th in accordance with A/RES/65/271, and an international space day was announced to be observed around the world. Before the UN took the initiative to raise awareness around the world, Russia used to mark the day. Outside of Russia, the United States began commemorating Human's first flight by honouring astronaut Yuri Gagarin on the 40th anniversary of his trip in 2001. Yuri's Night, or "world space party," is observed on this day.


  • On international space day, The UNGA has identified the worldwide inquisitiveness about outer space. So, they have taken the initiative to address the scenario to make people aware more regarding outer space. The resolution has been named as a question of the peaceful use of outer space.
  • The UN office for outer space affairs performs the responsibilities of establishing peaceful cooperation in outer space.

International space day is also significant because it reminds us of other milestones that have been achieved by humankind. The first takeoff of the manmade satellite called Sputnik 1 in 1957, the First landing of humans on the moon in 1969 is other accomplishments that people can be proud of.

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FAQs on International Day of Human Space Flight

Q.1. Which day is observed as world space day?

12th April is observed as world space day. The Soviet Union was the first country that could achieve a major milestone by launching spacecraft to space. It was the first human flight to space.

Q.2. Why do we commemorate international space day?

The United Nations General Assembly announced 12 April as the international space day in its agreement A/RES/65/271 of 7 April 2011, to commemorate each year at the international level. This was the day when the dream of space flight of humans came true. This initiative was brought to encourage the people to be involved in space science as well as to reassert the meaningful impact of space science and technology. This is also aimed at the betterment of people's condition nationwide as well as wide assuring the realisation of their desire to keep outer space peaceful.

Q.3. Who do we pay tribute to on world space day?

We observe world space day to honour the first human who flew to space named Yuri Gagarin. He was a Soviet aviator and astronaut. His spacecraft was called Vostok 1. The spaceship revolved around the Earth at a speed of 27,400 kilometres per hour for 108 minutes.

Q.4. Why is International space day so important?

International space day is so important because the momentous occasion of the first human space flight paved the path for space exploration for the benefit of humanity as a whole. Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin being the first person to travel into space completed one orbit of Earth in the Vostok 1 capsule on April 12, 1961.