As outer space exploration continues to inspire people and lead to
technologies that can benefit all people, World Space Week
[] was an occasion to
“rededicate ourselves to sharing those inspirations and discoveries with
all humanity,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

“Space is a part of the world’s cultural heritage,” Mr. Annan said in a
message marking the annual observance of World Space Week, which runs
from today to 10 October. “It has inspired generations of artists, poets,
scientists and musicians. Throughout history, societies have admired and
searched for meaning in the same night sky.”

Space exploration can even help bring cultures together, the Secretary-
General noted, as today’s manned space missions were rarely top-secret
national projects. “Much more common are international crews, with members
from a variety of backgrounds,” he said. “Their missions capture the
imaginations not only of their native lands, but of people around the

Meanwhile, space technology has produced tools that were transforming
weather forecasting, environmental protection, humanitarian assistance,
education, medicine, agriculture and a wide range of other activities.
“And, of course, a fascination with space leads many young people to
pursue careers in science and technology, helping developing countries in
particular to build up their human resources, improve their technological
base and enhance their prospects for development,” the Secretary-General

World Space Week, which this year has the theme “Inspiration from Space,”
marks the launching of the Sputnik-1 satellite in 1957 and the entry into
force of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and will be celebrated in at least
20 countries.