12 april, 2012 15:50  

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin presents the government’s annual Yury Gagarin Prizes to members of the first cosmonaut crew


Vladimir Putin’s address at the awards ceremony held in the Moscow Planetarium:

Ladies and gentlemen, I would first of all like to wish you a happy Cosmonautics Day, along with health and success.

As you know, last year we decided to establish the Yury Gagarin Prize on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Gagarin’s space mission. I am very pleased about this, it is a great pleasure and an honour to present this prize to members of the first crew of Soviet – now Russian – cosmonauts.

You are also aware that the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution declaring April 12 as the International Day of Human Space Flight, which is a fresh recognition of the achievements our country, our people, scientists, pilots and cosmonauts have made in the pursuit of progress, to ensure that our country maintains leading positions in space exploration. I very much hope that your achievements will serve as a firm basis, a solid foundation, for further progress in this sphere.

Today, we – I wholeheartedly invite you to this event – will attend or, rather, will hold a meeting on the development of the ground infrastructure of the Russian space industry and will discuss a new project, a large federal project for building the Vostochny space centre. I hope this meeting will prove interesting for you, and besides, we will be glad to hear your ideas, comments or proposals on this issue.

And now I am happy to fulfil this pleasant mission – presenting the prizes.

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The Prime Minister presented the government’s Yury Gagarin Prize for the development of manned exploration of space, for personal contribution to the first manned space flights, for developing international cooperation in the sphere of space exploration and for popularising the achievements of the national space industry to pilot-cosmonauts, Heroes of the Soviet Union Alexei Leonov, Valery Bykovsky, Boris Volynov, Viktor Gorbatko and Valentina Tereshkova.

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In her reply, Valentina Tereshkova expressed deep gratitude for the prize and for the government’s attention to the first cosmonauts, who, she said, “had a difficult but happy mission – to blaze the trail into space.”