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MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. Russia is retaining the leading positions in the space industry, is firmly in first place in terms of the number of space launches, is actively developing the orbital satellite group and is working on new high-tech products, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.
"Russia is firmly holding the leading positions in the world," Putin said at a concert dedicated to the Cosmonautics Day that Russia is celebrating on April 12.
"We have competitive positions in rocket engine building, we still have the first place in the world in terms of the number of space launches, we actively develop the orbital satellite group and of course are working on new high-tech products in the sphere," he said.
Putin recalled work at the Vostochny Space Center. "Tremendous work has been carried out in the establishment of our new national cosmodrome, Vostochny. According to specialists’ plans, the first launch is to be made from there at the end of April," he said.
"In many respects, the future of not only the Russian but also the world space science is connected with the Vostochny Space Center. Taking into account that we plan to make launches here in the interests of our economy and work jointly with our foreign partners within the framework of international cooperation," Putin said.
The Russian president underscored that Russia made the first step in space exploration.
"Today we are marking a remarkable date - 55 years since the flight of Yury Gagarin, the first cosmonaut of our planet. His legendary blastoff became one of the brightest, landmark events of the 20th century. It was our country that made the first step in space exploration," Putin added.
He congratulated all workers of the rocket and space industry, wishing them successes and new achievements. The Russian leader noted the veterans’ contribution to the industry’s development.
"You established the traditions that make it possible for Russia to be among leaders of the space sphere. We are proud by right that our great compatriots stood at the origins of the space era, put into practice the bold dreams about flights to the stars, were trailblazers in creation of unique space apparatuses," Putin said.
"The flight of Vostok-1 was a real triumph for our country, the greatest scientific and technological breakthrough that opened for the entire humankind the path toward new unknown spaces. Today Russian scientists, engineers, cosmonauts continue the glorious traditions of their predecessors," he said.
Putin mentioned the construction of new apparatuses.
"[Russian specialists] are developing advanced space and rocket technologies, build new apparatuses, fulfilling promising unmanned and manned programs, including jointly with foreign partners, ensure efficient work of the International Space Station," he said.