President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, I wholeheartedly congratulate former and current employees of the space industry and all citizens of our country on the occasion of Cosmonautics Day!

This holiday unites all generations. It is about admiring the feat of the pioneers of the cosmos, the genius of outstanding designers, the tireless efforts of engineers and workers, faith in the power of talent and dreams, a sense of national pride and a focus on the future, on future victories.

On April 12, 1961, Yury Gagarin opened the way into space for humanity. Cosmonauts and those who designed and developed rocket and space technology ensured our country’s technological triumph and its leadership in space.

Our first satellite, the first space flight, the first woman in space, and the first spacewalk will forever be part of history. We have no need to invent heroic stories. We have a glorious chronicle of our space history filled with great feats. I am sure that they can serve as inspiration for our film makers, writers, artists, and for schoolchildren and students still at the moment of choosing their path in life.

I would like to thank our veterans for all they have done for our country. Your selfless and heroic labour is an example of true patriotism and love for your country. All who work in the space sector today continue what you began and strive for leadership. The desire to be the best is in our blood.

However, to meet all the challenges we face today, we must develop our own potential, and Russia has ensured that it has independent access to space. We have built the Vostochny Space Launch Centre on our own soil. The town of Tsiolkovsky will be built next to the site, and, as you know, we will also develop a new techno park there, offering unique conditions for space research.

It will become an integral component in the modern research infrastructure we are developing, together with the research centres and new laboratories that will work in close cooperation with the most renowned design bureaus and high-tech businesses.

Within the next decade, we will come up with new competitive breakthrough designs, including advanced materials, our own component base, and new types of carrier rockets and manned spacecraft.

Our space programme must lead our country forward and become a powerful stimulus for promoting technology and education, work in the interests of the national economy and research, and contribute to expanding our knowledge not only about outer space, but our planet as well. This is why the first Arctic centre for remote sensing of the Earth has been deployed in Murmansk. A similar centre will be established at the Progress station in the Antarctic.

Of course, international cooperation in space, primarily in the sphere of applied and fundamental research, should be further strengthened. The Russian-European mission to explore Mars, as well as work on the International Space Station are two such examples. You are well aware that today Russia is the only country that delivers cosmonauts to the ISS.

Friends, the success of our space programme depends on the people. Therefore, it is important to engage younger generations of researchers who are responsible, motivated, and knowledgeable professionals with advanced competencies. We must believe in ourselves and our own power, pursue our dreams, and strive to achieve technological and scientific breakthroughs.

Once again, I congratulate you on your holiday, Cosmonautics Day. I wish you new achievements for the benefit of our Motherland.

Source President of Russia Kremlin Moscow