Second View

Guest Editorial: by Dennis Stone, President, World Space Week Association

Written by: developer

Each year, the global space community celebrates World Space Week, declared by the United Nations as Oct. 4-10 annually. Through simultaneous events, industry voices combine to reach a larger audience through media coverage. This worked well for diverse environmental groups that joined forces on Earth Day, and World Space Week follows a similar approach.

World Space Week has reached an impressive scale. Over 1,400 events were reported by event holders Oct. 4-10, 2013, in 80 nations, a big jump from the year before. By building on this momentum, we can achieve even greater global attention to space, demonstration of public support and youth inspiration.
I am especially pleased to see the Space Foundation participating in World Space Week 2014 in a grand way. Many of the Space Foundation’s activities will feature the participation of former NASA astronaut Dr. Leroy Chiao, the Space Foundation’s special advisor – human spaceflight. Chiao will meet with the public and give presentations to schoolchildren about his experiences on the International Space Station. The Space Foundation presents these Audience With an Astronaut™ programs to inspire children’s interest in space.

During World Space Week, the Space Foundation education team will conduct GlobalCasts with more than 1,000 students around the world, featuring Dr. Chiao’s presentations and allowing the students to ask questions of him. The GlobalCasts will use the Space Foundation’s Science On a Sphere® at its world headquarters to illustrate Chiao’s presentations to students across the United States and in India.

The theme of World Space Week 2014, “Space:  Finding Your Way,” focuses public attention on the role of space in great impact of Global Positioning System (GPS) on society. Teachers globally will continue to use World Space Week to inspire students. Indeed, one third of all reported World Space Week events are held by schools.

Organizations can participate in World Space Week in any way they choose, targeting the public, students, employees, the media or government leaders. For example, hundreds of Airbus Defence and Space employees will speak to schools during World Space Week annually to enhance the company’s community relations and impact its future workforce.

I invite you to join this unique celebration of space by planning Oct. 4-10 events, entering them into the global calendar, using the World Space Week name and logo and telling the media about your events. Afterward, return to the calendar to report results. Other simple steps, such as mentioning World Space Week in social media and promoting to teachers, are also important.

The numerous agencies, companies and organizations in our diverse global space sector promote space year round in their own unique way. But outreach resources are limited and everyone seeks efficiency. World Space Week is a time to benefit from the leverage of synchronization, a force multiplier, the power of many. I wish you a successful World Space Week 2014.

This article is part of Space Watch: October 2014 (Volume: 13, Issue: 10).