In a statement released today, Simonetta Di Pippo, the Director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), welcomed the upcoming celebrations that will take place around the world, including a ceremony to be held at the UN offices in Vienna where the Organization will be presented a rare Tiuterra Crystal. Tiuterra is a composite of a Mars meteorite found in Morocco and rock samples collected globally by individuals and institutions. Three smaller versions of the crystal will accompany Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on her journey to the International Space Station in November 2014. Proclaimed by the General Assembly in 1999, World Space Week, observed each year during the week of 4-10 October, aims to provide unique leverage in space outreach and education; educate people around the world about the benefits that they receive from space; encourage greater use of space for sustainable economic development; demonstrate public support for space programs; excite young people about science, technology, engineering, and math; and foster international cooperation in space outreach and education. The dates recall the launch, on 4 October 1957, of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, and the entry into force, on 10 October 1967, of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies.The theme of this year’s World Space Week is Space: Guiding Your Way. It highlights the benefits of satellite navigation to society which, Ms. Di Pippo said, are of “great importance” to her Office, particularly as UNOOSA also functions as the Executive Secretariat to the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG) – a body which promotes voluntary cooperation on civil satellite-based positioning navigation, timing and value-added services. read more