Santa Rosa, CA, April 14, 2012 --(PR.com)-- Today, Yuri’s Night celebrates the 12th year of the World Space Party, 51 years since Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight into space and 21 years since the first launch of the Space Shuttle.

Space enthusiasts and supporters of human spaceflight will be gathering at over 220 events in 50 countries on all 7 continents.

At the flagship event in Los Angeles, Yuri’s Night co-founder Loretta Whitesides will join hundreds of partyers at the Station (in the W Hollywood) for a night of dancing, costumes, and space-themed swag and cocktails. Representatives from NASA, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and other organizations will be on hand with displays and scale models of the latest in futuristic space technology.

Inside Antarctica’s South Pole Station, scientists and explorers will raise a traditional toast to Yuri from the bottom of the world.

In Moscow, Russia, three separate events will be celebrating Yuri’s Night on the “Cosmonaut’s Day” holiday.

At the Westover Public Library in Richmond, Virginia, children and adults alike will build arts and crafts, watch space documentaries, and cap the evening off with stargazing courtesy of the Richmond Astronomical Society.

In Strasbourg, France, students and faculty at the International Space University will be celebrating Yuri’s Night alongside the 25th anniversary of the ISU’s founding. Yuri’s Night Executive Director Dr. Ryan Kobrick will be showcasing an exhibit of historic Yuri’s Night materials, including items flown on the International Space Station.

“We’re very excited to be celebrating 51 years of human spaceflight with everyone taking part in Yuri’s Night this year,” said Yuri’s Night Executive Director Ryan Kobrick. “Whether you’re hosting an event, going to a local party or celebrating in Second Life or other virtual worlds, we hope that you can ‘Make an Impact’ in 2012 by helping others realize the importance and awesomeness of space exploration.”

Yuri’s Night will also be easier to celebrate on the Internet than ever in 2012. Events will be taking place in at least 8 “virtual worlds”, including Second Life, World of Warcraft and Star Trek Online.

Yuri’s Night fans can also tune in to a special YN show on NASA’s Third Rock Radio from 5-9 PM Central Time, watch recorded greetings from NASA Ames Director Pete Worden, Rocket Boys author Homer Hickam, and other space luminaries through the I Celebrate Yuri’s Night video project, and read the latest updates from events worldwide at Yuri’s Night Live (live.yurisnight.net).

To bring the World Space Party to the public, Yuri’s Night has partnered with many organizations throughout the world, including:

SEDS - Students for the Exploration and Development of Space - an independent, student-based organization which promotes the exploration and development of space.
Spacevidcast - an acclaimed weekly Internet program covering all things space and space exploration
The National Space Society - an independent, educational, grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization
Astronomers Without Borders - an organization that fosters understanding and goodwill across national and cultural boundaries by creating relationships through the universal appeal of astronomy.
The Space Frontier Foundation - an advocacy organization committed to realizing the vision of a greatly expanded and permanent human presence in space.

“We’d like to thank Richard Garriott, the Musk Foundation, Homer Hickam, Dave Masten, Shasta Visions, and all of our partners and affiliates for their support of Yuri’s Night this year,” Kobrick said. “And, of course, our biggest thanks to the event organizers and partygoers who help us make Yuri’s Night the world’s biggest space party! Rock The Planet!”

About Yuri’s Night

Yuri's Night is a global non-profit organization dedicated to hosting celebrations of humanity's past, present and future in space on or around each April 12 in commemoration of Yuri Gagarin's first manned space flight and the inaugural launch of the Space Shuttle. In 2011, Yuri’s Night celebrated the 50th anniversary of human spaceflight with 567 events in 75 countries on all seven continents, the International Space Station, and the Second Life virtual world, including events in Tokyo, New York City, Moscow and at the NASA Ames Research Center.

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