2017 Theme: “Exploring New Worlds in Space”
The 2017 World Space Week Theme focuses attention on astrobiology missions like New Horizons (NASA’s first mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt); feats of engineering such as Lockheed Martin’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (NASA’s first spacecraft designed to facilitate long-duration, human-rated deep space exploration of new worlds) and efforts of New Space actors such as Space X (revolutionary space technology projects with the ultimate goal of enabling people to inhabit other planets like Mars) and other entities with a vision for exploration and utilization of extraterrestrial resources, such as metals from asteroids, water from the Moon, and unlimited solar energy in the Earth's orbit.
By Resolution 54/68 of 6 December 1999, the General Assembly proclaimed World Space Week, to celebrate the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition.
The dates commemorate the launch, on 4 October 1957, of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, and the entry into force, on 10 October 1967, of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies.
World Space Week is the largest annual space event in the world. It helps build up the workforce of tomorrow by inspiring students, demonstrates visible public support for the space programme, educates the public about space activities, and fosters international cooperation in space outreach and education. Since 2007, more than 94 nations have participated in more than 2,250 events with more than 1.3 million attendees.
Each year a theme is selected by the World Space Week Association Board of Directors in close coordination with the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs. The theme provides broad guidance to World Space Week participants on the content of their programmes. The theme is selected to increase the impact of World Space Week on all humanity further, by using a uniform theme globally.