About 7 African countries officially participated in this Yuri’s Nigh celebration, joining their counterparts around the world in commemorating Yuri Gagarin becoming the first human to venture into space on April 12, 1961 and the Inaugural launch of the first Space Shuttle on April 12, 1981.
Yuri’s event which combines space-themed partying with education and outreach is a global celebration of humanity’s past, present and future in Space was held in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Sudan, Ethiopia and Togo primarily by Space Generation Advisory Council
In Kenya, the event themed: Embracing Space Technology for Sustainable Development, featured talks from leaders in the Kenyan space sector, documentary viewing, fun mental games etc at the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development ,Kasarani, Nairobi.
South Africa had two locations; University of Western Cape where the activities revolved around a movie with a personal take about Ed Belbruno—a mathematician who uses the 3-body problem to calculate trajectories for spacecraft to reach orbit around moons and planets, using less propellants than otherwise and the Ithala Centre, Manguzi. For the Ithala Centre—a combined venture between the Space Generation Advisory Council, the Department of Health and Air Mercy Services in Kwazulu Natal—had volunteers from the SGAC and the Department of Health flying to a rural town on the border of Mozambique and Swaziland to organise a screening of NASA’s Hubble space Telescope images to the children in the paediatric wards who were too ill to venture outdoors to stargaze.
In Sudan, space enthusiasts converged on the University of Khartoum for a space-themed party with costumes, photoshoots, a documentary movie and a video call with other space communities.
For Morocco, a science writer, film producer and space flight advocate, Geoff Notkin hosted a Yuri’s party deep in the Sahara Desert. The event took place at a remote desert campsite for an international meteorite-hunting expedition to the Sahara jointly led by Geoff.
The Daimond mining town of Oranjemund hosted space lovers in Namibia to a night of fun enjoying Champers and canapés (or grape juice and chicken nuggets for the little ones.
While the West African City of Lome, the Togolese capital hosted space enthusiasts at College Notre Dame de L’Eglise to a time of video projections of the first space flight made by Yuri Gagarin and presentations on the importance of space science and its applications in human life.
Nigeria was not left out, as Vixen Co. Ltd rolled out the Telescope for excited space enthusiasts in Abuja.
Ethiopia Yuri Night comes up in few hours time. Check out the flyer below and register
Several thousand-people attended different official events in over 55 countries in this year’s Yuri’s Night on all 7 continents. From 2001 until 2010, Yuri’s Night was a project of the Space Generation Forum at the UNISPACE III and run under the non-profit Space Generation Foundation in the United States. As of 2010, Yuri’s Night is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States.
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