Celebrate World Space Week - Martian Style!
If you have not gotten your 'World Space Week' game on yet, you still have one more day! Established by the United Nations in 1999, World Space Week spans October 4 (the anniversary of the launch of Sputnik, the 1st human made object to orbit the Earth in 1957) to October 10, (the anniversary of the Outer Space Treaty which came into force in 1967) it is a great week to go speak in a classroom about space, go star gazing, check out Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in 'Gravity' or re-watch last year's favorite Gangnam Style-parody "NASA Johnson Style" (video embedded below for your viewing enjoyment)
This year's theme is, "Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth" and my friends at the Austrian Space Forum, who I met at that same United Nations meeting where World Space Week was born (possibly through our influence!) have planned some pretty cool stuff for the occasion. Not only did they mount a number of live-streamed Mars EVA practice runs in Mars Analog environments (like the deserts in Utah and Morocco) but they also have organized a partnership with famed crystal maker Swarovski! (Not your typical space week huh?)
The participatory project invites people from around the world to collect fist sized rocks (carefully photo documenting where you got the rock from and supplying its GPS coordinates) and to mail them to Europe where a portion of each rock will be ground up and added to ground up Martian meteorite and used by Swarovski to create a batch of 100 specially crafted crystals to commemorate the event. These crystals will be unveiled at Yuri's Night 2014 and presented to representatives of space agencies, policy makers and thought leaders around the world! (Disclaimer: though I am the co-creater of Yuri's Night and thus will heavily promote it ;) I learned about this project from a link to the website just like everyone else!)
"By demonstrating the support for this campaign, we can show decision makers that Mars exploration is something that humanity – across all borders and cultural divides – really wants to achieve," said Remco Timmermans, Executive Director, World Space Week Association.
Whatever you plan to do to celebrate, it will be a great warm up for Yuri's Night. Parties launch worldwide every April 12th...
Cover photo: Exploring Mars. Aouda.X Mars space suit simulator exploring in Morocco, Feb. 2013. (c) OeWF (Katja Zanella-Kux) Gallery Photos: Poster from this years World Space Week, an example of a previous Swarovski work (credit: Wolfgang Pust), Bruce McCandless 1984, (Credit: NASA)