Yuri's Night "global space parties" happen from April 4-12.

( Image above: Aaron Muszalski, shot by Scott Beale, at Yuri's night 2007.)

The annual celebration of space travel known as the "Yuri's Night World Space Parties" happens this year on Saturday April 4, 2009.

The events, which take place in cities around the world each April, celebrate humanity's achievements in space. The parties mark the anniversary of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's orbital spaceflight, which was the human race's first foray into space (on April 12, 1961) and the first space Shuttle flight (on April 12, 1981). More than 150 events will take place this year on planet Earth.

I co-hosted one of the parties in Dallas, Texas, once, as the pic at left documents. Drunken cosmomauts (no, they were not drinking cosmopolitans) branded me with the head of Yuri Gagarin.

More about the Washington, DC edition of this event, from Yuri's Night global organizer Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides, the lovely and brilliant space diva who will be hosting that particular location's festivities:

The party this year at Goddard features live music from regional music stars Middle Distance Runner. Listen to multi-layered, indie-pop sounds through exploded views of galaxies and NASA exhibits. Dance next to the rocket garden to beats infused by DJ Scientific. A series of activities are guaranteed to entertain including NASA heavy hitters guiding you though space in the Science on a Sphere theater. Galactic attire is encouraged, silver, antennae, glow in the dark, sci-fi. Participants must be at least 21 years old and bring a valid ID. Beer, wine, and refreshments will be available for purchase and water, soda and chips provided.

Food Network will also feature a 2.5 ft high Hubble Space Telescope cake made for the occasion on their TV show 'Ace of Cakes' about Baltimore's own Charm City Cakes bakery and 500 lucky guests will get to sample Charm City's finest as we celebrate Goddard Space Flight Center's 50th Anniversary.

More info on events in all of the participating cities (I believe admission is $10 or less at each) is right here.


  1. Instead of honoring Gagarin they should be honoring Laika.

    She gave her life for science and space exploration and was the first creature from this planet to leave Earth.

    Gagarin was an also-ran.

  2. I hate to pay attention to Xeni for being hot rather than being an interesting journalist but DAMN, great picture and sooo hot. She looks a bit like a 6 from Battlestar Galatica when she has long hair.

  3. Huh! as a weird coincidence.. or maybe not.. I’ll be performing with a symphony’s performance of Holst’s Neptune – the mystic that night, complete with a video montage of space imagery.

    The concert is in honor of the international year of astronomy.. astronomy2009.us

    Just so happens it overlaps with other stuff as well, apparently.

    (http://www.ridgefieldsymphony.org/concertschedule.asp#reach for the interested, incidentally. There’s a star party afterwards!).
    Feel free to delete my comment if it seems innapropriate, I was just really struck by the timing. Heh….

  4. oh and scruffy – maybe i should explain – i cant find a girl “hot” unless she’s intelligent, interesting, and i feel that special…. squirmy feeling

  5. No cosmopolitans, but what about Cosmonauts? It’s like a screwdriver, but space-agey.

    2 parts Tang and 1 part Vodka, you can’t go wrong.

  6. its not connected to the post – but i invented a drink called a “screwin’ julius”

    one can frozen orange juice – a little water – one cup sugar – one cup milk – dash of vanilla extract -two cups vodka (give or take) – and as much ice as u can fit in the blender — its awesome

    I like sharing :D

  7. @ Dedalus
    Hot can totally be strictly physical but, to Xeni’s credit, her mind may be hotter than her body.

    Done posting on the thread, I can’t say anything constructive at this point.

  8. “one can frozen orange juice – a little water – one cup sugar – one cup milk – dash of vanilla extract -two cups vodka (give or take) – and as much ice as u can fit in the blender”

    That may very well get me to purchase a blender.

  9. Laika and the other animals were unwilling sacrifices…sad, but Yuri was a willing participant who knowingly took a huge risk…..so yes, I’ll remember Laika, but I’ll raise a big glass of vodka for Yuri! He does deserve the accolades. Vostok was an incredibly risky contraption to fly (as were our tin cans!) and it took a lot of courage to be strapped into it.

    I worked on the Mercury Program, and Vostok was a disaster for us politically…but even at the time we were impressed and we engineers sent personal congratulations to the Russians. Those of us who were sci-fi fans were ecstatic. Humans had reached space.

  10. mind and body as expression of …. soul? ….

    “oh baby, ur godhead makes me horny”

    (Xeni lets have coffee!!)

  11. better yet – i’ll brew u citron tea – and show you my collection of medallions, wine, and leather-bound books –

  12. Tobor,

    I wasn’t challenging you, I righted your incorrect statement and added some additional info for completeness. Confirming her name was an aside to the actual point of my post, and was meant light-heartedly. I should have included an exclamation point or a little smiley-face [:)]

    Did you read the links?

    It’s a semi-well known fact that the international media picked up on her breed and mistook it for her name.

    Laika (from the Russian: Лайка, a breed of dog, literally meaning “Barker” or “Howler”)

    Soviet personnel gave her several names and nicknames, among them Kudryavka (Russian for Little Curly), Zhuchka (Little Bug) and Limonchik (Little Lemon). Laika, the Russian name for several breeds of dogs similar to the husky, was the name popularized around the world.”

    Calling her Laika is like calling Snoopy “Beagle”, or Lassie “Collie”. Yes, “Laika” is how we know and refer to her, but it wasn’t correct. Interesting, no?

  13. Not to beat it to death, but this is the kind of posts that BB needs more of.
    As in posts with pics of Xeni.

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