Russian officials marked the 48th anniversary of the first human spaceflight by laying flowers at the tombs of pioneering cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin and Sergey Korolev, the chief designer of the rocket that launched him into history.
Sergey Ivanov, deputy chairman of the Russian Government, and Anatoly Perminov, head of the Russian Federal Space Agency, led a group of prominent Russian space industry officials, Korolov’s relatives, and industry veterans to the Kremlin Wall where Gargarin and Korolev are buried in places of honor.
Perminov also visited the Roskosmos Central Data Session, where he extended Cosmonautics Day greetings to the crew of the International Space Station:
Anatoly Perminov congratulated warmly ISS crew commander Hero of Russia Gennady Padalka, flight engineers Michael Barratt and Koichi Wakata, on the Cosmonautics Day. It is a good tradition to congratulate cosmonauts on-board the station on April 12.
Meanwhile, Russian Federal President Dmitry Medvedev issued a Cosmonautics Day proclamation honoring space industry workers and veterans, ITAR-TASS reports:
â€œDomestication of outer space became one of the most spectacular and unforgettable chapters in the history of the 20th century. Yuri Gagarinâ€™s flight on April 12, 1961 ushered in a new era in the development of civilisation. The first step into outer space was made thanks to the talent of our outstanding designers and bravery of cosmonauts. We are proud by right of the fact that this scientific and technical breakthrough was made precisely by our country.
â€œThe development of the space industry has been a strategic priority of the state policy. Economic successes and competitiveness of our country, the development of science and Russiaâ€™s security directly depend on its efficient operation.
â€œIt is necessary now to pay most serious attention to updating of the space industry, renovation of its scientific and technical potential, the development of fundamental and applied investigations.
â€œIâ€™m sure that unique experience and knowledge of our specialists, implementation of national and international programmes will consolidate Russiaâ€™s forward positions in space explorations and manned flights as well as multiply successes in the international market of space services.”