World Space Week is held every year from 4 October to 10 October. The United Nations General Assembly declared the annual event in 1999 as "an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition".
The dates were chosen to recognise two important dates in space history: the launch of Sputnik 1, the first man-made Earth satellite, on 4 October, 1957 and the signing of the Outer Space Treaty on 10 October, 1967.
To celebrate the 15th World Space Week,
IBTimes UK presents 15 of the most amazing photos taken by crew members on board the International Space Station.
Star trails are seen in space, while cities and lightning storms create patterns as the Earth whirls around, in this composite image created by International Space Station Expedition 30 crew member Don Pettit on 17 May, 2012 Reuters/Nasa The space station made a lucky pass over Sarychev Volcano in the Kuril Islands northeast of Japan during the early stage of an eruption on 12 June, 2009. The plume appears to be a combination of brown ash and white steam. The vigorously rising plume gives the steam a bubble-like appearance. The smooth white cloud on top may be water condensation that resulted from rapid rising and cooling of the air mass above the ash column Nasa The Aurora Australis or Southern Lights shimmer over the Indian Ocean on 17 September, 2011. Auroras are light shows provoked by energy from the Sun and fuelled by electrically-charged particles trapped in Earth's magnetic field, or magnetosphere Reuters/Nasa This image of the moon was photographed by the Expedition 28 crew aboard the International Space Station. The Earth is bordered by the orange-coloured troposphere, the lowest and most dense portion of the Earth's atmosphere. The troposphere ends abruptly at the tropopause, which appears in the image as the sharp boundary between the orange and blue. Silvery-blue noctilucent clouds extend far above the Earth's troposphere Reuters/Nasa ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers captured this photo of the British isles night, with the Aurora Borealis on the horizon, on 28 March 2012 ESA/Andre Kuipers/Nasa During a total eclipse, the shadow of the moon sweeps across Turkey, northern Cyprus, and the Mediterranean Sea on 29 March, 2006 Nasa A plume of smoke and dust rises from lower Manhattan after the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre were attacked Reuters/ISS Expedition 3 Commander Frank L. Culbertson/Nasa The sun is about to come up over the South Pacific Ocean a few hundred miles east of Easter Island, in this colourful scene photographed by one of the Expedition 35 crew members aboard the International Space Station between 4 and 5 am local time on 5 May, 2013 Reuters/Nasa A section of the Green River canyon in Utah, known as Bowknot Bend because of the way the river doubles back on itself, was photographed by an astronaut on the space station on 22 January, 2014. The straight white line across the scene is the vapour trail from a jet Nasa This image taken from the International Space Station shows Greater London and its surroundings at night on 12 December, 2013. The M25 orbital motorway can be seen as a bright ring around the city, while the Thames appears as a black wiggly line. Heading due south from London is the M23 to Gatwick and Brighton on the south coast. Heathrow airport's two runways can be seen just inside the M25, west of London ESA/Nasa "What a Shooting Star looks like from space, taken yesterday during Perseid Meteor Shower," tweeted astronaut Ron Garan, Expedition 28 flight engineer, on 14 August, 2011 Reuters/Nasa The space station's solar panels are backdropped by the Milky Way in this photo taken by Nasa astronaut Reid Wiseman Reuters/Nasa New York's Manhattan island was photographed by a space station Expedition 38 crew member on 9 January, 2014. The skyscrapers are gathered in two separate clusters because of the island's geology. Central Park easily seen on the right of the photo Reuters/Nasa The space shuttle Endeavour is silhouetted against Earth's horizon and atmosphere prior to docking with the International Space Station on February 9, 2010 Reuters/Nasa Space shuttle Atlantis heads home for the last time on July 21, 2011 after a mission to resupply the International Space Station, ending the 12-year shuttle programme Reuters/Nasa