Yuri’s Night, the world space party – launching parties around the world every year on or around April 12th, in commemoration of Yuri Gagarin becoming the first human to venture into space on April 12, 1961, and the inaugural launch of the first Space Shuttle on April 12, 1981. Using space to bring the world together, to empower the greatest parts of who we are, and give vision to where we are going.
Celebrating the power of space to bring the world together!
Centered around April 12th, the anniversary of the first human spaceflight and the first launch of the Space Shuttle, groups around the world host their own Yuri’s Nights events. From small local groups to science centers to national museums, there’s a party fit for everyone! We encourage people everywhere to host their own event by providing tools to help grow The World Space Party.
Visit and find events near you! https://yurisnight.net/
The concept of Yuri’s Night was first conceived by Loretta Whitesides, George T. Whitesides, and Trish Garner during the Space Generation Forum at the UNISPACE III Conference in 1999. The Vienna Declaration afterward set up a new World Space Week “between 4 and 10 October for the yearly celebration at the international level.” This event was timed to commemorate the launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4th and the signing of the UN Outer Space Treaty on October 10th. Wishing to specifically celebrate the human aspects of spaceflight, George and Loretta moved ahead with planning for the first Yuri’s Night event on April 12: a dual anniversary of human spaceflight achievements.
In 2000, Yuri’s Night was announced as an event in Los Angeles scheduled for the following year, 2001. Friends and colleagues, including those from the Space Generation Forum, asked to host their own celebrations around the world at the same time. The World Space Party was born and continues to rock the planet today!
Since the commemorative event in 2001, Yuri’s Night & the spacekind foundation have featured talks and presentations by Sir Richard Branson, Ray Bradbury, Will Wright, George Takei, Richard Garriott, Anousheh Ansari, and many others in the aerospace, art, science, and music industry. Our events have not only been hosted across our globe, but also in space, with parties at the South Pole, Hayden Planetarium, on Mars, and in orbit on the International Space Station. We also actively train the next generation of space leaders for organizations such as the National Space Society, Virgin Galactic, and Space Florida.
Other spacekind foundation projects include sending pediatric cancer survivors and their families to Space Camp with the Cosmic Odyssey Scholarship, and recognizing people or teams that embody the Yuri’s Night mission by using music and art to make space cool with The Spirit of Yuri’s Night Award. We provide fiscal management of AstroAccess, a project in association with SciAccess to launch groups of disabled scientists, veterans, athletes, students, and artists on parabolic flights as the first step in a progression toward flying a diverse range of people to space.
In 2011, the 50th anniversary of human spaceflight, over 100,000 people attended 567 officially-recognized events in 75 countries across all 7 continents, while tens of thousands more watched the 12-hour live Yuri’s Night Global Webcast and participated online in the virtual world of Second Life.