National Space Day, observed every first Friday of May, celebrates all things space. On this day, we appreciate and marvel at the ever-expanding universe.

National Space Day was introduced by the Lockheed Martin Corporation in 1997, but at the time it was only a one-off event to observe the wonders of space and also encourage children's interest in the subject. Later on, in 2001, astronaut and senator John Glenn expanded it to International Space Day because of how popular it became.

On National Space Day, space experts and enthusiasts celebrate space and the many mysteries around it that are still waiting to be discovered. Although "space" itself is so vast that it's not quite easy to squeeze a celebration for its entirety, the day is still an excellent opportunity to celebrate space, from the stars and planets and moons, to the more distant celestial bodies that we are only beginning to understand.

Today, those with simple backyard telescopes may want to spend some time perusing the evening sky. Even simple star gazing may stoke a genuine interest in the vastness of space, while learning some interesting facts about it may expand one's space knowledge.

It is also an excellent time to foster children's interest in space, perhaps by watching some of the many documentary movies on the topic or by reading books about space and those who have played important parts in space history. Children can try books such as "Hidden Figures," "Mae Among the Stars" and "ABCs of Space."

Some scientific organizations also hold events such as seminars and gatherings to celebrate National Space Day, noted National Today, so some people may want to check out any possible events in their area.

On this day, let's look at some inspiring quotes that may just ignite your interest in space. (Courtesy: Good Reads, Kidadl, Brainy Quote)

  • "It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small." -Neil Armstrong
  • "The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself." -Carl Sagan
  • "Space, it says, is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is." -Douglas Adams
  • "I look up at the night sky, and I know that, yes, we are part of this Universe, we are in this Universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the Universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up—many people feel small, because they're small and the Universe is big, but I feel big, because my atoms came from those stars." -Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • "Earth is a small town with many neighborhoods in a very big universe." -Ron Garan
  • "Yet, for most of us, the most memorable sight was not of the moon but of our beautiful blue and white home, moving majestically around the sun, all alone in the infinite black space." -Alan Bean
  • "Space is an inspirational concept that allows you to dream big." -Peter Diamandis
  • "The most important thing we can do is inspire young minds and to advance the kind of science, math and technology education that will help youngsters take us to the next phase of space travel." -John Glenn
  • "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." -Carl Sagan
This ancient stellar jewelry box, a globular cluster called NGC 6397, glitters with the light from hundreds of thousands of stars. NASA, ESA, and T. Brown and S. Casertano (STScI) ; Acknowledgement: NASA, ESA, and J. Anderson (STScI)