Yuri's Night

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Not to be confused with Yuri's Day.
Yuri's Night
YurisNight 300x250.png
Yuri's Night logo. Note the faux Cyrillic "Y".
Genre Space exploration
Date(s) April 12
Inaugurated April 12, 2001
Yuri Night celebration in Virginia
Yuri's Night celebration at Goddard Space Flight Center

Yuri's Night is an international celebration held on April 12 every year to commemorate space exploration milestones. The event is named for the first human to launch into space, Yuri Gagarin, who flew the Vostok 1 spaceship on April 12, 1961. The launch of STS-1, the first Space Shuttle mission, is also honored, as it was launched 20 years to the day of Vostok 1 on April 12, 1981. In 2013, Yuri's Night was celebrated at over 350 events in 57 countries.

The goal of Yuri's Night is to increase public interest in space exploration and to inspire a new generation of explorers. Driven by space-inspired artistic expression and culminating in a worldwide network of annual celebrations and educational events, Yuri's Night creates a global community of young people committed to shaping the future of space exploration while developing responsible leaders and innovators with a global perspective. These global events are a showcase for elements of culture that embrace space including music, dance, fashion, and art.[1]

Yuri's Night was created by Loretta Hidalgo, George T. Whitesides and Trish Garner. The first Yuri's Night was held on April 12, 2001, on the 40th anniversary of human spaceflight.[2] This global celebration was preceded by Cosmonautics Day (Russian: День Космонавтики), which was established in the Soviet Union in 1962.[3]

Locations with Yuri's Night celebrations have included Los Angeles [1], the San Francisco Bay Area [2], Huntsville, Alabama [3], New Orleans [4], Inverness [5], Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Lisbon [6], Afghanistan, Latvia [7], Romania, Peru, Antarctica, and the International Space Station [8], in addition to many other locations and virtual online celebrations [9].

The 2004 event in Los Angeles was attended by over 100 prominent space leaders including author Ray Bradbury, space tourist Dennis Tito, X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis, *NSYNC's Lance Bass and Nichelle Nichols (Uhura from the original Star Trek series). The event was followed by a large party with 2 dance floors and world-class DJs.[4]

The 2007 event in the San Francisco Bay Area was located at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in Mountain View, CA. The event featured artistic installations, technology demonstrations, and DJ music continuing through dawn of the following day and takes place in an aircraft hangar not accessible to the public.[5]

April 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of Gagarin's historic first flight.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ryan Kobrick, R. Brice Russ, and Timothy Bailey (2011). Yuri's Night: Linking the World Together with an International Space Celebration. Retrieved on 2/9/2014 from http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/6.2011-5175.
  2. ^ a b Teague, Jason Cranford (2011-02-14). "Celebrate 50 Years of Human Space Flight on Yuri’s Night". Wired. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  3. ^ Государственная Дума. Федеральный закон №32-ФЗ от 13 марта 1995 г. «О днях воинской славы и памятных датах России», в ред. Федерального закона №59-ФЗ от 10 апреля 2009 г «О внесении изменения в статью 1.1 федерального закона "О днях воинской славы и памятных датах России"». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Российская Газета", №52, 15 марта 1995 г. (State Duma. Federal Law #32-FZ of March 13, 1995 On the Days of Military Glory and the Commemorative Dates in Russia, as amended by the Federal Law #59-FZ of April 10, 2009 On Amending Article 1.1 of the Federal Law "On the Days of Military Glory and the Commemorative Dates in Russia". Effective as of the day of the official publication.).
  4. ^ http://www.collectspace.com/ubb/Forum23/HTML/001097.html
  5. ^ Beale, Scott (2007-04-14). "Photos of Yuri’s Night Bay Area 2007, A Giant Party at NASA". Laughing Squid. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 

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