World Space Week set to touch down in Israel

World Space Week events are set to touch down in Israel starting Thursday through October 11. The 19th annual United Nations initiative dedicated to space includes participation from 50 countries this year, with multiple locations hosting events within each country. Israel’s events will be held free of charge and are hosted by the Israel Space Agency, as part of the Science and Technology Ministry.

The local marathon, which will include an extra day of events this year, is sponsored under the UN World Space Week Initiative and its events are spread throughout more than 20 locations in Israel.

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“The public is invited to participate in lectures, workshops, escape rooms, virtual reality and films that reveal the various aspects of space and the impact it has on our lives,” according to the Science and Technology Ministry.

Space Week’s first day on Thursday will take place in Beersheba, kicking off with an event in the Old City which includes a discussion on genetic code and possible future uses of DNA. At the Ben-Gurion University in the Negev, Dr. Amnon Yosef will give a lecture on physics in medicine and travel to Mars at the Ilan Ramon Physics Center. A film will be screened on campus about space travel and technology.

Events will move to Jerusalem on Sunday, with a discussion about life on Mars to be held at 11 Beit Yaakov Street, across from the Machneyuda restaurant. Virtual reality stations will be set up to allow visitors to experience the sensation of a spaceship launch as a passenger.

Later that night, participants will have the opportunity to discuss the secrets of the universe, followed by a World Space Week-themed escape room at Yuri Gagarin’s office on 67 HaNevi’im Street, capping off the events in Jerusalem. Gagarin, a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut, was the first human to journey into outer space when he completed an orbit of Earth in 1961.

Later in the week, the Science and Technology Ministry will turn its eyes to Tel Aviv. Beginning next Wednesday, a talk will be held at Houdna Bar about the need and reality of cooperation between countries in space for the next generation.

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Later in the day, Ilan Manolis – the first Israeli to have an asteroid named after him – will hold a discussion at the Perla bar in Florentin about opportunities and pitfalls the space community faces.

Other miscellaneous activities to be included on the day: talking about our place in the universe, a space yoga workshop on Washington Boulevard and a lecture on asteroids, meteors and meteorites at the Planetarium on Levanon Street.

The final date and location of the World Space Week in Israel will be October 11 in Haifa. Events range from a lecture about man’s arrival on the moon, to a storytelling of the events that paved mankind’s path to space, to overviews of today’s most advanced space technology and research, all held at Syncopa Bar in downtown Haifa.

The Israeli presentation of the UN’s Worldwide Space Week Initiative looks to be a promising one as it offers a range of formats to learn about the field. With virtual reality, escape rooms, workshops and more, it looks to be the equivalent of a kid in a candy store for outer space enthusiasts and anyone else looking to learn something new about the universe around them.

Events will also take place in Katzrin, Shavei Zion, Upper Nazareth, Afula, Pardess Hanna Karkur, Tiberias, Yarka, Hadera, Taybeh, Netanya, Givatayim, Ramat Hasharon, Ramat Gan, Ofakim, Ashkelon, Yeroham, Kibbutz Be’eri and Mitzpe Ramon.

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