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Gala event to celebrate Cosmonautics Day

April 12, 2019, Moscow

Vladimir Putin attended the First in Space gala event celebrating Cosmonautics Day, which took place at the State Kremlin Palace.

Earlier in the day, the President visited Energomash Research and Production Association, where he learned more about promising projects in the rocket and space industry.

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Speech at the First in Space gala event

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good evening, friends.

First of all, I would like to greet everyone in this room, all former and current workers of the space industry and all citizens of our country on the occasion of Cosmonautics Day.

This holiday is dedicated to space explorers – true heroes who brought glory to our Fatherland. The flights of the first cosmonaut on Earth Yuri Gagarin and the first female cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first spacewalk by Alexei Leonov and the outstanding achievements of many of our other pioneers have gone down in history.

Of course, we remember the great achievements of Soviet designers, engineers and workers who created the world’s first artificial satellite and manned spacecraft, as well as space and interplanetary stations.

The people behind our space triumphs set big, forward-looking goals worthy of a great country. They took risks, achieved technological breakthroughs, worked hard and set an example of self-sacrifice and true love for the Motherland. Thanks to their courage and bravery, scientific genius and inexhaustible faith in human capabilities, we were the first in space.

The noble sense of pride in the Fatherland and our heroes should be a source of inspiration that leads us to meet new challenges and reach new heights. This is essential, because leading positions must constantly be confirmed. We must keep up with the fierce and growing competition, focus on solving complex challenges, and allign the education system, science, and industry to this end.

Today, to be in the lead, to be leaders on Earth it is necessary to be leaders in space. Therefore, I am deeply convinced that space exploration is a major area for national development, a source of both unique personnel and our own technology and, importantly, in the most diverse areas.

In the next few years, we will continue deploying systems for communication, navigation and the remote probing of the Earth’s surface. With these objectives in view, we certainly intend to build up our satellite group in space, including on a stable geostationary orbit.

It is necessary to expand the exploration of distant space and flight programmes, and not only automatic, unmanned flights but certainly those with human participation. It is necessary to reach new frontiers to attain these goals. I am primarily referring to the development of a next generation manned craft and a super heavy missile carrier, advanced engines and materials.

I am convinced that scientists, engineers, designers and the aerospace industry as a whole are ready to respond to this challenge. To accomplish this, they have a powerful technological base, remarkable human potential and the ability to offer bold, unconventional solutions.

This is borne out by the recent successful launch of a spaceship that, having made two circles around the Earth, delivered a load to the international space station in just 3 hours and 21 minutes. This is not just a world record but also a prelude to new opportunities to work in orbit.

And, of course, our competitive advantages lie in the continuity of generations. I am sincerely grateful to the veterans and merited workers in the industry who pass on their experience, who are instructors for young specialists.

It is obvious that to achieve tangible results, we need to dramatically upgrade the quality and efficiency of the aerospace industry, to get rid of everything that impedes progress, and to focus scientific, intellectual and production resources on this task.

In the Address to the Federal Assembly, I talked about a large-scale project to create a National Space Centre at the Khrunichev Plant in Moscow. The new centre will accommodate the headquarters of the leading companies and the staff potential of research institutes and universities and ensure their cooperation with high-tech companies.

An industrial and scientific holding company for missile engine manufacturing will be established by the middle of 2020. The industry’s flagship – Energomash Research and Production Association – will become its heart.

We have discussed many issues in the aerospace industry with the workers at this unique enterprise today. I would like to emphasise again that we will provide all the necessary assistance and support to the development of Russian cosmonautics.


I wish you – all those who are now working in the space industry and those who want to be a part of it, primarily young people who dream of the stars and long exploration flights – great success and to be the first in any job by all means, to be the first in reaching the most ambitious goals.

I would like to wish you a happy holiday and a good evening once again. Thank you very much for your attention.

April 12, 2019, Moscow