20 July: International Moon Day

OV Digital Desk
5 Min Read
International Moon Day

ISS Progress 75 resupply ship, with the full Moon above the Earth’s horizon, is pictured separating from the International Space Station shortly after undocking from the Zvezda service module. PHOTO: NASA

20 July is observed as International Moon Day. It commemorates the day when man first walked on the moon in 1969. International Moon Day marks the anniversary of the first landing by humans on the Moon as part of the Apollo 11 lunar mission.

On 12 April, the International Day of Human Space Flight is observed. International Asteroid Day is observed on 30 June, whereas World Space Week is observed between 4 -12 October.

About Moon Village Association

The Moon Village Association (MVA) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Vienna. Its goal is to create a global informal forum for stakeholders like governments, industry, academia, and the public interested in Moon Village development. Whether it’s public or private, the MVA fosters collaboration for global moon exploration programs. It has over 600 participants from over 50 countries and 33 institutional members around the world, representing a wide range of technical, scientific, cultural, and interdisciplinary fields.

MVA partners with non-space organizations to facilitate international discussions and formulate plans for the Moon Village and create international, national and regional networks to engage civil society.

International Moon Day 2023: Theme

20 July is observed as International Moon Day. It commemorates the day when man first walked on the moon in 1969. International Moon Day marks the anniversary of the first landing by humans on the Moon as part of the Apollo 11 lunar mission.

The theme of International Moon Day 2023 is “Lunar Exploration Coordination & Sustainability.”  The primary objective is to raise awareness among the general public regarding the importance of conducting lunar exploration in a sustainable manner.

Quick facts about the moon and its climate

Here are quick facts about the moon and its climate:

  • The Moon is Earth’s only natural satellite and the fifth largest moon in the solar system.
  • The Moon’s presence helps stabilize our planet’s wobble and moderate our climate.
  • The Moon’s distance from Earth is about 240,000 miles (385,000km).
  • The Moon has a very thin atmosphere called an exosphere.
  • The Moon’s surface is cratered and pitted from comet and asteroid impacts.
  • In full sunshine, temperatures on the Moon reach 127°C, way above boiling point. There are 13 and a half days of high temperatures followed by 13 and a half days of darkness, and once the sun goes down the temperature at the bottom of craters can plummet to -173°C.
  • The Moon is moving approximately 3.8 cm away from our planet every year

International Moon Day: Significance

International Moon Day is celebrated across the globe every year, in cooperation with United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). The goal is to educate the public and raise awareness each year, at the international level, about the status and prospects for humanity, sustainable Moon exploration and utilization, and the need to regulate activities on and around the Moon.

International Moon Day: History

Moon Village Association requested the proclamation of International Moon Day on July 20, the anniversary of the first human landing on the moon with the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, during the UN-COPUOS 64th Session. Proclamation approved by UNGA on 9 December 2021

On September 14, 1959, Luna 2, a Soviet spacecraft, impacted the Moon’s surface. More spacecraft have been launched in the last 62 years from countries like the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan, China, India, and Israel to better understand the Moon. It was the Apollo 11 mission of the United States that landed the first humans on the Moon on 20 July 1969.

Read Also: 28 March in Indian and World History

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