World Space Week 2021 honors women in space: How to join the celebration online and in person

The poster for World Space Week 2021
The poster for World Space Week 2021 (Image credit: World Space Week)

This year's World Space Week kicks off today (Oct. 4), bringing people together from around the world to celebrate women in space with a variety of online events and interactive learning activities. 

The international celebration commemorates the achievements and contributions of space science, technology and its applications. The events of World Space Week stretch from Oct. 4 — the launch anniversary of the first human-made Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, in 1957 — to Oct. 10, the anniversary of the signing of the Outer Space Treaty in 1967, which governs how to use space, such as the moon and other celestial bodies, peacefully. 

Here are some of the events being held to celebrate World Space Week. Please check the links for exact times and locations of the live presentations closer to the date of your event, and if registration is required. You can find a full list of this year's events on

Related: Pioneering women in space: a gallery of astronaut firsts

All week

U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama
Details here
The museum is hosting daily activities, programs and giveaways, starting with "Women on a Mission" presentations on the past, present and future role of women at NASA. 

The Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia
Details here
The museum is hosting a weeklong celebration, starting Oct. 2 through Oct. 9. Activities include Saturday STEM labs, stomp rocket launches, live virtual astronomy presentations, virtual presentations and workshops for teachers and educators, and social media trivia. Some activities require registration. 

Space Is Better Together
Details here
The Space Foundation is hosting a weeklong celebration of the incredible impact women have had on the global space community, and how space is better when everyone is involved.

Monday, Oct. 4

12th Annual Space Foundation International Student Art Contest Kick-Off 
Student artists ages 3–18 are invited to participate in Space Foundation's annual art contest by creating and submitting original, space-oriented artwork based on the year's theme: "living, working and playing on the moon."

Build Your Own Model Satellite Competition
Details here
The Philippine Space Agency is hosting a "Build Your Own Model Satellite" lecture and competition for kids age 9-10, their parents and siblings. Ariston N. Gonzalez, of the Space Technology Applications Mastery, Innovation and Advancement (STAMINA4Space) Program, will hold an online workshop, demonstrating how to build a model satellite out of recyclable or edible materials. Winners will receive prizes during the World Space Week closing program on Oct. 9. 

SSERD Outreach Program
Details here.  
Starting Oct. 4, through Oct. 17, you can participate in the Society for Space Education, Research and Development's (SSERD) outreach program, designed to connect space enthusiasts around the globe through webinars, workshops and competitions for all ages.

Tuesday, Oct. 5

Oceaneering WSW Student Panel
10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT)
Register for free
Designed for younger viewers, this event will have panelists who work in the space industry and can share what their day-to-day is like, how they got into STEM and one of their favorite work experiences. Later in the week, Oceaneering International, Inc. will host a similar panel for adults. 

Kids can download a fun coloring activity sheet to complete prior to the panel and share their artwork on social media, using the hashtags #Oceaneering4WSWand #Spaceisforeveryone and tagging @Oceaneering. 

Small Steps, Giant Leap: STEM Adventures for Little Space Explorers
11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. EDT (1500-1630 GMT)
Details here
This event is part of a monthly program designed by the Space Foundation Discovery Center,  in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to engage early learners (students up to the age of kindergarten) in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It will feature a reading of the book "Mousetronaut" (Simon & Schuster, 2012), by astronaut Mark Kelly. Students will also train like an astronaut using worksheets, a pencil and a calculator.

Wednesday, Oct. 6

Homeschool Days: World Space Week
12-6 p.m. MDT
Details here
Homeschool Days is an in-person event held at the Space Foundation Discovery Center, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The event will feature two guest speakers from NASA to talk about the Lucy Mission to Jupiter and women in space. One of the presentations will also feature a Space Patch expert. 

Thursday, Oct. 7 

The Women in the Access to Space for All Initiative Webinar
5 a.m. EDT (0900 GMT)
Register for free.  
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs will host a discussion about the capacity-building activities under the Access to Space for All Initiative, including the different programs and the stories of the women that are part of it. 

Have you ever wondered what it takes to work in human spaceflight?
10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT)
Register for free
This event features four women working in the space industry, who will discuss what inspired them to go into STEM and share one of their favorite work experiences. The panelists have supported the Space Shuttle Program and the International Space Station; helped astronauts train for spacewalks in underwater simulations, and aided in developing spacesuits. 

Woman on the Moon: Bridging the Gender Gap
1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT) 
Register for free
The World Space Week Association (WSWA) and Moon Village Association (MVA) will discuss the achievements of women in the space sector and the significance of the first woman stepping on the moon. During this virtual webinar, the panelists will talk about the impact empowering women in the space sector has for bridging the gender gap.

Space is Better Together: Tomorrow's Space Jobs are Here Today
1–2 p.m. EDT
Register online
This event will showcase how working together is essential to space exploration and our future. Panelists will discuss the critical role of women like Katherine Johnson of "Hidden Figures" fame. 

Lunar Starry Night
5–6 p.m. and 6–7 p.m. local time
RSVP online for free
Girlstart's STEM Studio and Mini-Planetarium in Austin, Texas offers hands-on STEM activities. For this year's World Space Week, the Starry Night activities include how to build a telescope viewer, calculating how high you could jump on the moon, creating a  LED Moon phase night light, and investigating crater formation while playing with Moon Sand. (RSVP required.)

Saturday, Oct. 9 

Science Fest, Indiana University Bloomington
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. EDT 
Indiana University will host a number of space science activities for all ages. You can register online and view a full list of activities to add to your schedule. 

EAA Aviation Museum Space Day 
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. local time 
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Aviation Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin is hosting a Space Day event, focusing on space flight and getting kids of all ages engaged with aerospace through hands-on activities and guest speaker, veteran NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, (included with regular museum admission that day). 

Fisher-Price's new Little People Collector "Inspiring Women" set includes figures celebrating Sally Ride, Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks and Maya Angelou. (Image credit: Fisher-Price)

Along with the week's activities, Fisher-Price is releasing its new Little People Collector "Inspiring Women" figure set, which includes astronaut Sally Ride — the first American woman in space — and aviator Amelia Earhart, during World Space Week.  

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Samantha Mathewson
Contributing Writer

Samantha Mathewson joined as an intern in the summer of 2016. She received a B.A. in Journalism and Environmental Science at the University of New Haven, in Connecticut. Previously, her work has been published in Nature World News. When not writing or reading about science, Samantha enjoys traveling to new places and taking photos! You can follow her on Twitter @Sam_Ashley13.