United Nations(UN) designated International Moon Day is annually celebrated on 20 July to commemorate the anniversary of the first landing of the lunar surface by humans on July 20, 1969, with the United States’ Apollo 11 mission.
- 20th July 2022 marks the first-ever observance of International Moon Day.
i.The aim behind observing this day is to reach the general public, specially our young generations and teach them about astrology and astronomy.
ii.The celebrations will also consider the achievements of all States in the exploration of the Moon and raise public awareness of sustainable Moon exploration and utilization.
Theme for International Moon Day 2022- ‘Lunar Exploration Coordination & Sustainability’.
- It is chosen to educate the public about the importance of sustainable lunar exploration.
i.During the 64th session of the UN-Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS), the Moon Village Association(MVA) submitted an application requesting the designation of July 20 as International Moon Day.
- The application was submitted to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).
- The International Moon Day will be an annual event, held for the general public celebrated across the planet, in cooperation with UNOOSA.
ii.On December 9 2021, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution 76/76 on “International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space” stating that July 20 will be observed every year as International Moon Day.
Apollo 11 moon landing:
i.On 20 July 1969, American astronauts, Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo 11 Lunar Module (LM) “Eagle” and conducted the moonwalk. They became the first humans to ever step foot on the lunar surface.
ii.Neil Armstrong was the first to touch the moon’s surface followed by Buzz Aldrin while the third crew member Michael Collins remained in the Columbia module in lunar orbit.
In 2018 China became the first country to land a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon under its Chang’e 4 mission.
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA):
i.It is the United Nations office responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.
ii.UNOOSA serves as the secretariat for the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).
- COPUOS is the UN’s only committee that deals exclusively with international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.
iii.UNOOSA is also responsible for implementing the Secretary-General’s responsibilities under international space law and maintaining the United Nations Register of Objects Launched into Outer Space.