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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon, friends,
I want to begin by congratulating you on the Cosmonautics Day and the anniversary of Yury Gagarin’s flight into space.
It gives me great pleasure that today people are happy to celebrate this holiday, at least in our country. I would really like to understand what you are feeling on this day.
I think your feelings must be very special because you are celebrating this unique anniversary, the 50th anniversary of the first manned space flight, in orbit and that must give you great joy, as well as a great responsibility and effort.
You are a unique international crew, and I would like to greet all of you, the citizens of the Russian Federation and our friends and partners from NASA and the European Space Agency. I hope you are enjoying this day, that you have already received congratulations from your colleagues, your loved ones and heads of states. I sincerely congratulate you once again and wish you success and interesting work.
We are not going to talk about past achievements because there have been so many of them in these 50 years. On the other hand, a great deal still lies ahead.
I have just received information about one of our upcoming projects, a flight to Mars. This is a truly fascinating and a fundamental challenge. You are in orbit now and, if you have no objections, I would be interested to understand what kind of emotions you are experiencing today, on April 12, 2011, 50 years after Yury Gagarin’s first flight into space.
Commander of The 27TH Expedition To the International Space Station Dmitry Kondratiev: Good afternoon, Mr President,
Thank you very much for your heartfelt congratulations.
On behalf of our crew, I would like to congratulate you on this truly wonderful, great holiday.
Yury Gagarin’s flight fifty years ago in fact divided the history of humankind in two eras: the pre-space era and today’s space era. Indeed, fifty years is a landmark milestone for drawing conclusions and setting new plans for the future.
Our crew is a harmonious team working consistently. It is the International Space Station, and the crew is also international which, as such, has many interesting challenges.
”Space advancement is one of our national priorities. We were the first to make it up into space, we have lots of space achievements, and we therefore have no intention to waste certain advantages we have.“
On the scale of human history, fifty years is not a long time, but an enormous progress has been made since the first manned space flight and I wonder what will be accomplished within the next fifty years, as at the moment there are many promising projects masterminded both in the Russian Federation and abroad by foreign agencies. These are truly fascinating prospect challenges.
I would like to congratulate everyone on this wonderful holiday which has become a major international worldwide event. Human history has become cosmic hence I want to wish everyone new successes, continued space exploration, and technological development, as advancement into space is indeed a fantastic opportunity to design new technologies and employ them in other industries, because that is very important. No doubt, this is a big part of human life and human history.
Dmitry Medvedev: You know, I just saw your schedule, which includes an enormous number of experiments, and everything is planned out. I didn’t even know the planning is that detailed.
Still, it is a holiday today, so I wonder about your plans for celebrating it, and this is certainly of interest to many people around the globe as well.
Dmitry Kondratiev: Indeed, we intend to celebrate this wonderful event and this milestone anniversary. First of all, we will speak to our colleagues, friends, specialists, and many others, and congratulate them on this event. I believe we will have such an opportunity today.
In the evening, we will all gather at one table, have a traditional dinner, and celebrate this holiday for which we have the stocks, such as fresh fruit and delicious food to be served at this special meal.
Dmitry Medvedev: That’s great.
Today, I will congratulate our cosmonaut friends and astronauts from other countries, present state decorations, and then we will have a major concert at the Kremlin. We will certainly think of you as well, and will hope that the congratulatory words that are said or thought there will reach you in spirit.
And one other, perhaps more serious issue. You said it absolutely correctly: fifty years does not seem like a very long time, but on the other hand, after those fifty years, we simply cannot imagine life without space travel, without your missions, without the scientific and practical outputs that have resulted from human travel into space, and without our plans for the future. We are thinking about how humanity will conquer other planets, and all of these dreams will continue.
Space has perhaps become more mundane, and colleagues say that it has become a little bit more comfortable, although naturally, it still remains a sophisticated work of high responsibility and risk. On the other hand, our dreams are nevertheless focusing on conquering outer space and travelling to other planets.
I think that many boys and girls follow your space mission and dream of one day finding themselves inside the ISS or a next-generation station, and continuing new experiments, just like you. In this regard, I am certain that space exploration has a great future and humanity has channelled and will continue to channel its resources into space exploration.
”Fifty years does not seem like a very long time, but on the other hand, after those fifty years, we simply cannot imagine life without space travel, without the scientific and practical outputs that have resulted from human travel into space, and without our plans for the future.“
On behalf of the Russian Federation, I would like to say that we will no doubt do this, because space advancement is one of our national priorities. We were the first to make it up into space, we have lots of space achievements, and we therefore have no intention to waste certain advantages we have. At the same time, we understand that today space exploration is a joint effort and manifestation of international solidarity. Thus, I am glad that today our foreign colleagues are on an orbital mission and that you all jointly engage in your most valued and complex activities.
Dmitry Kondratiev: I’d like to thank you, Mr President, on behalf of our entire crew. We truly appreciate your congratulations.
Dmitry Medvedev: It is always very interesting to talk to the space station and even though I’ve spoken to space crews on few occasions already, it nevertheless makes me feel somewhat emotional, and perhaps that is particularly understandable today, on April 12th.
I sincerely wish you good spirits and hope that the celebratory dinner you have tonight will be comforting and homelike.
I hope you will get in touch with your families and friends in one way or another, so that they could share this celebration with you. And I would like to say that today the entire Russian Federation will be celebrating with you, because this is our national holiday which will be honoured tonight by fireworks in Moscow.
My congratulations on the Cosmonautics Day.