Press Release

Yuri’s Night Celebrates More than a Half Century of Human Exploration of Space

By SpaceRef Editor
April 11, 2013
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Yuri’s Night Celebrates More than a Half Century of Human  Exploration of Space

Tomorrow the world marks 52 years since Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight into space and 32 years since the first launch of the Space Shuttle. Scientists, artists, educators, and fans of space will be celebrating these milestones at over 320 parties and events in 50 countries on all 7 continents. Dubbed ‘the World Space Party,’ Yuri’s Night is in its 13th year.

“The level of interest and enthusiasm this year has been just amazing,” said Dr. Ryan Kobrick, Executive Director of Yuri’s Night. “We’ve already hit 300 events, and we expect to register many more by Friday. This is officially our second-largest Yuri’s Night since we began in 2001.” According to Kobrick, the only year with more registered events was 2011 – the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight.

Yuri’s Night events combine space-themed partying with education and outreach. These events can range from an all-night mix of techno and technology at a science museum, to a movie showing and stargazing at your local college, to a gathering of friends at a bar or barbecue. Most parties will be happening on April 12th, but many will take place throughout the weekend and the rest of the month. A full list of Yuri’s Night events is available at

This year, Yuri’s Night parties will receive a special greeting from International Space Station Commander Chris Hadfield. The video can be viewed at Hadfield, a Canadian Space Agency astronaut, has become globally known for his use of social media to bring the experience of space to the world; he recently received a 2013 Shorty Award in the category of science.

The more than 320 parties and events this year include:

* Los Angeles, California ( – The flagship
* Yuri’s Night event, featuring Buzz Aldrin, astronaut Garrett Reisman,
* JPL rocket scientists and space fans celebrating under the Space Shuttle
* Endeavour at the California Science Center
* Stuttgart, Germany ( – At the Stuttgart Planetarium this Sunday, adults and kids
* alike will be able to try out a Soyuz flight simulator, launch model
* rockets, and answer space quiz questions for cool prizes
* San Francisco, California ( –
* Scientists from CalTech, the B612 Foundation, and NASA’s Kepler mission
* will be presenting on the latest space news at the California Academy of
* Sciences’ “NightLife”, which will also feature dancing and live music
* by the Space Cowboys

Yuri’s Night parties are being held in such diverse locations as Anvers Island, Antarctica; Batman, Turkey; and the Second Life virtual world. In Toronto, Ontario, participants in NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge will be joining in on the fun at Hotel Ocho.

“Yuri’s Night would not be possible without support from some great partners,” added Kobrick. In 2013, Yuri’s Night is working with groups such as Science Cheerleader (, who are collecting microbial samples from around the world to be flown on the International Space Station as part of Project MERCCURI. Science Cheerleaders will be present at events in Durham, North Carolina, Washington, DC and Los Angeles.

In 2012-13, Yuri’s Night signed partnership agreements or began new projects with organizations including We Want Our Future (, the Emmy-award winning Janet’s Planet (, and Caldwell Vineyard ( A full list of Yuri’s Night partners is available at

“We couldn’t do this without all the hard work of our Global Executive Team, our partners, and especially the party planners from all over the world, who are sharing their love of space and enthusiasm for space exploration with their friends and neighbors,” said Kobrick.

About Yuri’s Night

Yuri’s Night is a global non-profit organization dedicated to hosting celebrations of humanity’s past, present and future in space on or around each April 12 in commemoration of Yuri Gagarin’s first manned space flight and the inaugural launch of the Space Shuttle. In 2011, Yuri’s Night celebrated the 50th anniversary of human spaceflight with 567 events in 75 countries on all seven continents, the International Space Station, and the Second Life virtual world, including events in Tokyo, New York City, Moscow and at the NASA Ames Research Center.

Yuri’s Night Social Media Links

Greeting from Commander Chris Hadfield:

Yuri’s Night photos and videos:

SpaceRef staff editor.