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25 June, 2024
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Cyprus counts down to Moon Day

Nicosia hosts official announcement and global celebrations

Newsroom / CNA

As humanity prepares to return to the moon, with the first woman to step on its surface, in just a few years from now, we celebrate this magical celestial body on the 20th of July, a day that was declared by the UN as the International Moon Day. It is recalled that the official announcement of the declaration was made in Nicosia two years ago. The official date, 20th July, was selected to mark the day that humanity first stepped on the Moon, with Neil Armstrong in 1969.

To celebrate this day, the Cyprus Space Exploration Organisation (CSEO) organized the official announcement in Nicosia back in 2021, in partnership with the CYENS Centre of Excellence and with the support of Nicosia Municipality, will be hosted on Friday 21st July, an Open Day to celebrate the International Moon Day (IMD 2023) at their research centers in Old Nicosia. The open day will include a space exhibition, interactive displays, presentations, documentaries, and celebrations marking humanity’s fascination and exploration of the Moon, and the technologies that will help future missions progress as well as an outdoor party.

The United Nations General Assembly declared 20th July as the International Moon Day (IMD), to be celebrated annually.  The United Nations proclaimed IMD in recognition of the Moon’s impact on our societies and histories. Since then, cities around the world have held events, exhibitions, and activities marking the exploration of Earth’s closest neighbor.

IMD was an initiative of the Moon Village Association (MVA) and the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), approved by the UN General Assembly on 9th December 2021 and announced in cooperation with the Cyprus Space Exploration Organisation (CSEO) hosted the global announcement from Nicosia shortly after, on 14th December 2021.

During the Press Conference, speeches were given by the MVA President, Giuseppe Reibaldi, CSEO President, George A. Danos, the former Chairman of UN-COPUOS, cosmonaut Dorin Prunariu and the Legal Advisor of MVA and originator of this proposal, Ima Ionescu. The UN-COPUOS Communications Officer, Martin Stasko attended as an observer the Press Conference, representing the UN.

CSEO President George Danos stated at the press conference that “Cyprus is the launchpad of the events to celebrate International Moon Day”.

MVA said in a press release, that it believes that the International Moon Day is a good opportunity to educate the public and promote and raise each year, at the international level, awareness on the status and prospects for humanity, the sustainable Moon Exploration and Utilization of the Moon and the need to act together to regulate activities on and around the Moon.

Giuseppe Reibaldi, President of the Moon Village Association stated at the press conference that the International Moon Day, which started in 2022, will foster the increase of international cooperation for future lunar missions and improve the understanding, by public, of the benefits of exploring and utilizing the Moon.

Our main message, he said “is that more than 50 years ago we went to the moon because of competition. Now we are going to the moon because of cooperation”, to cooperate and reap the benefit for all humankind as well as stimulating engagement from the young generation.

Cosmonaut Dorin Prunariu said that “Recognizing the 20th of 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 organize scientific, cultural activities, and we will inform the public about the evolution of moon exploration and goals and results”, he remarked.

According to CSEO, the festivities will begin at noon, when CSEO opens its doors to the public to experience its ‘Apollo to Artemis’ exhibition which was created with the support of the US Embassy and explores NASA’s Missions to the Moon. The exhibition starts with the Apollo Mission and the first human on the Moon and then takes a detailed look at Apollo 17, the last crewed mission to the Moon.

The exhibition also allows the public to touch a piece of the Moon as it includes a lunar meteorite, as well as a very close look at a small Martian rock.

The evening will begin at 7 pm and will include interactive displays, demonstrations, and documentaries by CSEO and CYENS.

The square in front of CYENS and CSEO’s Research Centres - Plateia Dimarchou Lellou Dimitriade (formerly Plateia Dimarchias) - will be the focal point of our outdoor celebrations with music and telescopes for viewing the Moon. Local businesses involved with the night's celebrations will be supplying refreshments and snacks throughout the night.

Cyprus  |  moon  |  festival  |  press

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