MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. Space technology development remains a priority of Russia’s state policy, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Sunday as Russia and the international community was celebrating the 54th anniversary of the first human space flight.
The Russian premier congratulated workers and veterans of the country’s space industry with Cosmonautics Day.
"Please, accept my congratulations with Cosmonautics Day, which is celebrated annually on April 12 not only in our country but also in the entire world as International Day of Human Space Flight," the premier said.
"Today "we give tribute to the great Russian scientists and engineers, designers and test engineers, the builders of the Baikonur and Plesetsk space centers, all those who stood at the origins of the domestic cosmonautics development, dreamt about flights to stars and devoted their entire life to this goal," Medvedev said.
"We’re honoring our famed cosmonauts, from the legendary Yuri Gagarin to those who are currently working in orbit as crew members of the International Space Station," the Russian premier said.
"And, of course, this year, we recall with a special feeling the feat of Alexei Leonov who was the first human to walk into outer space 50 years ago. All these people are heroes without any exaggeration and Russia, as the country that has become a great space power largely thanks to their selfless work, courage and professionalism and steadily keeps these leading positions, is proud of them," Medvedev said.
Space technology development "is a major state priority," he added. ‘We set before ourselves large-scale tasks of increasing the competitive edge of the sector’s enterprises, exploring outer space and, of course, creating new launch sites. The first launch of a carrier rocket from the Vostochny spaceport scheduled for the end of this year will become a bright confirmation of our country’s huge scientific and technical potential," the Russian premier said.