Home   Calendar   Holidays   UN Holidays   International Day of Human Space Flight

International Day of Human Space Flight

The United Nations (UN) celebrates the International Day of Human Space Flight on April 12 each year. The day remembers the first human space flight on April 12, 1961.

Statue of Yuri Gagarin, the world's first cosmonaut to have travelled in outer space.

©iStockphoto.com/AMilkin

What Do People Do

The International Day of Human Space Flight celebrates the start of the space era for humankind, reaffirming the important contribution of space science and technology in today’s world. The day also aims to promote aspirations to explore and maintain outer space for peaceful purposes.

Activities to promote the day have included photo exhibitions, conferences showcasing technology used for outer space, and the release of commemorative stamps.

Public Life

The International Day of Human Space Flight is a UN observance and not a public holiday.

Background

April 12, 1961, was the date of the first human space flight, carried out by Yuri Gagarin. This historic event opened the way for space exploration. In 2011 the UN declared April 12 as the “International Day of Human Space Flight” to remember the first human space flight and to promote the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes and to the benefit of humankind.

Symbols

Commemorative stamps depicting human space flight have been released on or around the International Day of Human Space Flight in the past. A statue of Yuri Gagarin, the world’s first cosmonaut to journey in outer space, is located about 40km (about 25 miles) from Saratov, Russia. It was erected in 1981.

International Day of Human Space Flight Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015SunApr 12International Day of Human Space FlightUnited Nations observance
2016TueApr 12International Day of Human Space FlightUnited Nations observance
2017WedApr 12International Day of Human Space FlightUnited Nations observance
2018ThuApr 12International Day of Human Space FlightUnited Nations observance
2019FriApr 12International Day of Human Space FlightUnited Nations observance
2020SunApr 12International Day of Human Space FlightUnited Nations observance
2021MonApr 12International Day of Human Space FlightUnited Nations observance
2022TueApr 12International Day of Human Space FlightUnited Nations observance
2023WedApr 12International Day of Human Space FlightUnited Nations observance
2024FriApr 12International Day of Human Space FlightUnited Nations observance
2025SatApr 12International Day of Human Space FlightUnited Nations observance

You might also like

Commuters and tourists in Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom.

Daylight Saving Time (DST)

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of setting the clocks forward one hour from standard time during the summer months, and back again in the fall, in order to make better use of natural daylight. more