April 12 is the dual anniversary of the first human spaceflight by Yuri Gagarin in 1961 and the first launch of a reusable spacecraft, space shuttle Columbia, by Bob Crippen and John Young in 1981. It is a cosmic coincidence too exciting to ignore! On the 10th anniversary of Yuri’s Night in 2011, the UN designated April 12 as the International Day of Human Spaceflight in recognition of these historic events.
Since 2001, Yuri’s Night has been a grassroots annual event celebrating all that humanity brings with us as we explore the cosmos: music, art, science, culture, and each other! We use space to bring the world together, to empower the greatest parts of who we are, and give vision to where we are going. This has included activities including:
- 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
- Celebrations at the South Pole, Hayden Planetarium, on Mars, and in orbit on the International Space Station
- Inspired and empowered people around the planet to create outreach events in their own communities
- Planted hundreds of “moon trees” around the world in collaboration with American Forests
- Received the “Best Presentation of Space” award from the Space Frontier Foundation
- Trained the next generation of space leaders for organizations such as the National Space Society, Virgin Galactic, and Space Florida
- Debuted new music videos, including “Art Together Now” by the band OK Go
- Partnered with Disney Jr. to distribute free online project materials and along with the “Yuri’s Night” episode of Miles from Tomorrowland
- Debut of the J.E.D.I (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) Space Award by Dr. Sian Proctor
Yuri’s Night is a project of The SpaceKind Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization using the excitement and inspiration of space as a catalyst for educating and developing the next generation of explorers. SpaceKind promotes global participation in Yuri’s Night and produces annual events under the Space Shuttles in Los Angeles, CA, and at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The team is volunteer-driven with no corporate offices or paid officers.
Videos and B-Roll
Over the past 20 years, Yuri’s Night has been covered in media of all kinds all over the world! Below are a few of our favorite articles that are available online. Use your favorite search engine to find even more stories of Yuri’s Night parties all over the planet!