International Day of Human Space Flight, 12 April

Photo: ESA

In 2011, the General Assembly, recognising the 50th anniversary of the first ever human spaceflight, declared 12 April as the International Day of Human Space Flight. The resolution, A/RES/65/271 of 7 April 2011, called it a day "to celebrate each year at the international level the beginning of the space era for mankind, reaffirming the important contribution of space science and technology in achieving sustainable development goals and increasing the well-being of States and peoples, as well as ensuring the realization of their aspiration to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes."

It was on 12 April 1961 that Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet citizen, carried out the first human space flight, an historic event paving the way for space exploration for the benefit of all humanity.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Gagarin's first flight, check out this gallery of historic photos of his life and work.

Messages from space explorers

Photo: NASA

Read this compilation of Messages from Space Explorers.

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United Nations commemoration

Photo: UN Photo

Read Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's message on the International Day of Human Space Flight, New York, 12 April 2012 and more about the UN honoring the fiftieth anniversary of human space flight.

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60 years anniversary of Human Spaceflight

To celebrate, read a double interview between UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo and the Director of Russian space agency Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin, discussing the significance of this anniversary and what the next 60 years of human spaceflight may hold. 

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