The goal of Yuri's Night is to increase public interest in space exploration and to inspire a new generation of explorers. Driven by space-inspired artistic expression and culminating in a worldwide network of annual celebrations and educational events, Yuri's Night creates a global community of young people committed to shaping the future of space exploration while developing responsible leaders and innovators with a global perspective. These global events are a showcase for elements of culture that embrace space including music, dance, fashion, and art.
Yuri's Night was created by Loretta Hidalgo, George T. Whitesides and Trish Garner. The first Yuri's Night was held on April 12, 2001, on the 40th anniversary of human spaceflight. This global celebration was preceded by Cosmonautics Day, which was established in the Soviet Union in 1962.
Locations with Yuri's Night celebrations have included Los Angeles , the San Francisco Bay Area , Huntsville, Alabama , New Orleans , Inverness , Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Lisbon , Afghanistan, Latvia , Romania, Peru, Antarctica, and the International Space Station , in addition to many other locations and virtual online celebrations.
The 2004 event in Los Angeles was attended by over 100 prominent space leaders including author Ray Bradbury, space tourist Dennis Tito, X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis, *NSYNC's Lance Bass and Nichelle Nichols (Uhura from the original Star Trek series). The event was followed by a large party with 2 dance floors and world-class DJs.
The 2007 event in the San Francisco Bay Area was located at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in Mountain View, CA. The event featured artistic installations, technology demonstrations, and DJ music continuing through dawn of the following day and takes place in an aircraft hangar not accessible to the public.