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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: I would like to congratulate everyone on the Cosmonautics Day.
Fifty years is a long period in the life of an individual. On the other hand, while presenting state decorations earlier today to our outstanding space sector managers, cosmonauts, and others who are involved in space exploration, I said that we are still in the early infancy of humanity which stepped out into space.
In this regard, we are a happy nation: we are the successors of the brilliant achievements that were made by our predecessors and those who are here in this hall today. I suppose that humanity has very few ideas that bring people together as much as space exploration and flying to the stars. We are joyful that exactly 50 years ago, our compatriot Yury Gagarin carried out this heroic feat. That is precisely why we have gathered here today, and that is why this holiday is celebrated by not just our country, but the entire world.
Among our guests this evening are members of our cosmonaut squad which has grown large with over 500 people having accomplished space missions to date, and guests from abroad of whom some travelled into space together with Russian crews.
Today, I felt a tremendous positive emotional charge while presenting orders and medals to our outstanding veterans and our foreign friends. You see, this is in fact one of the first global ideas of the humanity which has been successfully brought to life. By the way, it has been implemented thanks to our compatriots, astronautics pioneer Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, prominent Russian scientists, and outstanding rocket designers like Sergei Korolev.
I think that this should motivate us to engage in further action today. Our mission is clear: Russia cannot and does not have the right to waste its space achievements, because we have accomplished a great deal by launching the first ever artificial satellite, sending the first cosmonaut into space, and accomplishing many other outstanding and extraordinary achievements.
And today, space exploration has evolved from merely a beauteous idea into an instrument for the humanity to test new high technologies, develop new pharmaceuticals, and invent new means of communication. Space has entered every home, and it has ceased to be an element of the ideological rivalry having become a routine reality in the best sense possible. Nevertheless, space advancement has not lost its romantic aura.
It is today that we must remember those who conquered space, all the veterans who ensured our outstanding achievements, all the researchers, scientists and certainly all the cosmonauts who went into space.
Today, let us remember the name of our very first cosmonaut, Yury Gagarin, our national hero.
Please accept my congratulations and wishes of happiness. I am confident that ahead of Russia and all humankind there are still many victories, victories in space.
See you again.