Oct. 4 to 10 is World Space Week
September 30, 2005 -- This year World Space Week is celebrating discovery and imagination. The U.N. General Assembly declared Space Week a holiday in 1999 to celebrate Oct. 4 -- the date that Sputnik-1, the first artificial satellite, was launched in 1957 -- and Oct. 10, when the assembly adopted the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.
As part of this year's celebration, the state of New Mexico is hosting the Anasari XCup, a race among personal spacecraft that will include the first private, three-person spacecraft to carry people up more than 100 km. Also to commemorate Space Week, Japan is hosting the International Astronautical Congress.
Other recent developments in space science include NASA's announcement of its plan to send a manned spacecraft to the moon by 2018, the European Space Agency's decision to explore ways to deflect asteroids with current technology, and South Africa's debut of the largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere.
The National Research Council report New Frontiers in the Solar System: An Integrated Exploration Strategy examines the contemporary nature of solar system exploration and why it remains a compelling activity today.