President Vladimir Putin: Dear friends,
Today we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of rocket designer Sergei Korolev, a man whom several generations have admired and tried to emulate in Russia and in other countries.
Korolev was not only a genius; he was a pioneer, the author of the first triumphs in space exploration. His personal triumphs are also the triumphs for Russia and the entire world.
The first steps in space exploration were impossible without scientific discoveries, new technological solutions, administrative talent and selfless work. The chief designer had all of these qualities. He created a closely-knit team of single-minded people working for the future.
Under his guidance, they created the world’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles, built the Baikonur and Plesetsk spaceports, set up a network of design bureaus, and orbited the first Earth satellite. Four years later, they sent the world’s first cosmonaut, Yury Gagarin, into space. The work of Korolev and his team ensured that the start of humankind’s space era was recorded in Moscow time.
The speed with which they worked at that time seems incredible now. Extraordinarily complicated projects were completed at a space velocity, and it was done for the first time in human history.
Korolev made an invaluable contribution to the development of the Russian space sector. Competitive equipment made at its plants earned Russia a firm standing in the world and continues to maintain it.
Sergei Korolev wanted the opportunities offered by space exploration to be used to the benefit of humankind. It is gratifying that many of his designs are being used in everyday life now.
Space exploration is now not only something to take pride in for Russia and other world powers. The exploration and use of the near-Earth space has become a serious resource of national development used to improve the quality of people’s life.
In the past few years, Russia has done much to strengthen the capabilities of the national space sector. We have a federal space program that includes all the priorities of Russia’s policy in space, such as stronger national security and above all economic growth, research and technical progress, as well as the development of international cooperation in space exploration to the benefit of humankind.
Major changes have been made to the GLONASS program, which will allow us to boost the orbiting of a full-scale navigation satellite group. Millions of Russians and people in other countries, economic operators and legal entities will benefit from the program’s reults .
However, it is clear that the long-term development of the sector calls for a systemic approach. We should know today what results we would like to achieve in space exploration in 20–40 years, and whether the space sector will be able to ensure them. Answers to these basic questions will allow us to determine the long-term development strategy for the Russian space sector.
One of our priority goals is to continue the integration of the space sector into the national economy. The window of opportunities offered by spacecraft to transport, communications, economic management and environmental monitoring is expanding. Space technologies and services can and must make a bigger contribution to the attainment of strategic goals of Russia’s modernization and economic development.
Another priority of the sector is to train new personnel. Russia has many talented people, who can propel our space sector to new heights. We will continue to create the best environment for the scientific work of young specialists.
I believe that they will carry on the cause of Sergei Korolev and do their best to ensure that Russia, which was the space pioneer in the last century, will keep its place among the world’s leading space powers in the 21st century.
I would like to congratulate you on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sergei Korolev, and wish new achievements, health and prosperity to all of you, who are building and using rockets and spacecraft.