The President’s telegram said, in particular:
“Our country can be justifiably proud of the part it has played in space exploration. The launch of the world’s first artificial satellite and Yury Gagarin’s spaceflight ushered in a new era in history and became the symbol of human civilisation’s scientific and technological progress.
The effectiveness of your work plays an important part in strengthening our country’s defence capability and security, developing transport, telecommunications, and other economic and social sectors. It is therefore important today to work actively on introducing new technology and modernising production infrastructure, so as to make Russia’s space and rocket technology more competitive.
Successful implementation of our space programmes has strategic importance for Russia today. I am sure that now, as in the past, the selfless labour of our highly professional specialists and the personal courage of the manned spaceflight crews will help us to succeed in achieving the goals our country has set.”
Cosmonautics Day was established by a decree of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet of April 9, 1962, to commemorate the world’s first manned spaceflight by Yury Gagarin.
On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yury Gagarin was launched into space on the Vostok spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, completing an orbital flight around the Earth which lasted 108 minutes.