21 April 2011. UNESCO invited ESPI to participate in an international forum on the peaceful use of outer space, which was held at the UNESCO Headquarter in Paris to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first human mission to space.
The UNESCO forum was attended by cosmonauts, astronauts and space explorers from various countries as well as scientists, musicians, historians and decision-makers to discuss the importance of the peaceful uses of space for science, education and culture. The International Forum and the associated evening event, an Astro Ballet, were organised and financed by the “Melody for Dialogue among Civilisations Association”. The forum was opened by Ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova, Chairperson of the UNESCO Executive Board and Permanent Delegate of the Russian Federation to UNESCO. Ms. Mehri Madarshahi, president of the “Melody for Dialogue among Civilisations Association”, pointed out that music and dance are an intangible heritage to the peoples of the world. These universal languages are indispensible in furthering the dialogue among our civilisations and cultures. Statements by Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to fly into space, and other cosmonauts like Sergej Krikalyov, who spent during six missions more than 800 days in space, highlighted the importance of Yuri Gagrin’s historic flight for the future development of human exploration.
ESPI Resident Fellow Gerhard Thiele was invited to share results of the workshop on human space exploration, which had been held at ESPI in Vienna last year (related webnews here). He emphasised that human exploration is not a mere technical or scientific endeavour and must be seen as a quest of cultures around the world. A round table discussion with experts from science, education, music and history stressed the importance of space exploration for education, science and culture. A question and answer session with the audience concluded this part of the programme.
ESPI Resident Fellow Gerhard Thiele with Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to fly into space
The celebrations were rounded out with the premiere of an Astro Ballet: A Tribute to the Peaceful Use of Space, composed by Andrew Kaiser (US) and choreographed by Natalia Guslistaya (Russian Federation), showing how music and dance can promote the exchange of views worldwide also on space exploration. In her closing remarks Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, observed the multitude of ways in which the peaceful use of space has an impact on culture and education and the further development of our world.
ESPI Resident Fellow Gerhard Thiele, Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, a guest of the exhibition, Claudie Haignere, the first European woman in space and Ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova, Chairperson of the UNESCO Executive Board and Permanent Delegate of the Russian Federation to UNESCO
- 27 May 2010. Astronauts join at ESPI to discuss cultural backgrounds of human spaceflight