Cyprus is the launchpad of the celebrations to mark International Moon Day which the United Nations General Assembly approved to be celebrated annually on 20th July, it was announced during an online press conference on Tuesday in Nicosia by the Moon Village Association in cooperation with the Cyprus Space Exploration Organisation.
Giuseppe Reibaldi, President of the Moon Village Association said the MVA was partnering again with CSEO after the very successful 5th Global Moon Village Workshop & Symposium that took place online on 6 – 8 of December 2021 and was hosted by CSEO from Nicosia.
He said the MVA made the proposal in August to celebrate international moon day and was originated by Imanuela Ionescu, legal adviser of MVA.
Explaining what International Moon Day is he said it is an event on 20 July to commemorate the landing of humans on the moon and the main goal is to raise awareness to the general public about the status and prospect of programmes on a global level of the moon exploration and utilisation. It also aims to promote public support for getting involved in this major step for humanity.
“I believe that it is known that the moon is the next destination for humanity, starting with 2022 we will have six missions going to the moon”, said Reibaldi, noting “as you see, in 2022, the moon will be very populated”.
This proposal was endorsed by the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS) s and went to the General assembly and was approved on 9 December, said Reibaldi.
Reibaldi also noted that the MVA will try to encourage local events and also work on Cyprus’ role but will also try to foster global events for the occasion.
Our main message, he said “is that more than 50 year ago we went to the moon because of competition. Now we are going to the moon because of cooperation”, to cooperate with each other and reap the benefit for all humankind as well as stimulating engagement from the young generation.
Imanuela Ionescu, legal adviser of MVA said she made the proposal to “meet challenges of the new space age, based on cooperation and not by competition”.
Moon is for exploration, she said, “we can notice the increasing density of the missions to the moon, the plans to land humans to the moon and building permanent basis to the moon”, adding we need to inspire the public and especially the younger generation.
“I acknowledge the relevance of the awareness of the public related to space missions through the Asteroid Day which definitely inspired me to propose the International Moon Day”, she added.
On his part, cosmonaut Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu, former chairman of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS) underlined the significance of the approval of the date from the UN, noting the recognition of the UN gives “very high importance to what we do”.
“Recognising 20th July as a very important day for the exploration of the moon, the date is important because the first step of a person was made on the moon on that day, has tremendous importance. So, every year, we will organise scientific, cultural activities, we will inform the public about the evolution of moon exploration and goals and results”, he remarked.
Everybody agreed on the proposal and it was included this year in the report of UN COPUOS and approved by the general assembly just a few days ago, said Prunariu.
“This is an occasion for the whole world to promote space exploration, cooperation and mutual understanding in the exploration of the moon”, he said.
Regarding Cyprus’ role in the future Prunariu said the European Space Agency is in the process of exploring the moon in the future. Already three European astronauts are ready and could take in missions to the moon.
“All our countries taking part in the programmes could have a contribution, scientific, elements of programmes, parts of hardware and so on. Maybe in future also Cyprus could be involved in the way in the moon through their partners in European Space Agency”, he added.
Danos said “we may very well make announcements in the foreseeable future” about Cyprus’ participation.
He also said that Cyprus will be the launchpad of the events to celebrate the International Moon Day following the successful workshop earlier this month.
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