President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, today we are marking a notable and wonderful date: the 55th anniversary of the flight made by Yury Gagarin, the first cosmonaut on our planet. His legendary liftoff became one of the high-profile, landmark events of the 20th century. Our country took the first step in the conquest of space.
I would like to congratulate all those working in the rocket and space sector on this holiday, Cosmonautics Day.
I wish you major success and new achievements.
My very best regards to veteran workers in the sector. You, our dear friends, have established the traditions that allow Russia even now to be a leader in space.
We are rightfully proud of the fact that our great fellow citizens – Tsiolkovsky, Tsander and Korolyov – contributed to the start of the space era, putting into practice daring dreams about flying to the stars, and were the trailblazers in creating unique space vehicles.
The flight of the Vostok 1 was this country’s real triumph, the greatest scientific and technological breakthrough that paved the way to new, unexplored spaces for all of humankind.
Today, Russian scientists, engineers and cosmonauts continue the glorious traditions of their predecessors. They develop advanced space and rocket technology, create new spacecraft and implement promising manned and unmanned programmes, including in conjunction with their foreign partners, and ensure the effective operation of the International Space Station.
Russia firmly holds leading positions in the world. We have competitive positions in rocket-engine manufacturing; we are firmly in the first-place position in terms of the number of space launches; we actively develop an orbital satellite grouping, and, of course, we also work on new high-tech products in this sphere.
A great deal of work has been done in creating our new national space launch centre, Vostochny. Specialists plan the first launch there in late April.
Vostochny is largely linked to the future not only of Russian but also world cosmonautics. I mean, we plan to make launches there in the interest of our economy and also work together with our foreign partners within the framework of international cooperation.
Our rocket and space industry has an outstanding personnel, scientific and manufacturing capability, and we should utilise it as effectively as possible.
It is important to constantly move forward, actively developing new areas in the world space industry and offering new, breakthrough ideas.
Allow me, dear friends, to congratulate you again on Cosmonautics Day and wish you major, impressive success in space development and all the very best to you and your families.
Thank you for your attention and I wish you a pleasant evening. Congratulations on this holiday.