On April 12, Russia observes the anniversary of the first-ever manned space flight carried out by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in 1961. Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth, with his flight lasting 108 minutes. In 2011, the United Nations declared April 12 the International Day of Human Space Flight.
“The government will do its utmost to keep Russia’s leading position in space exploration,” Medvedev posted on VK social network, congratulating the Russians on the holiday.
In December, Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said that the country had carried out 38 successful space launches in 2014, remaining the world leader. In addition, Russia orbited a total of 80 satellites last year, setting a new world record.