Moscow: Yuri Gagarin's path-breaking first flight to space has completed its 50 years on Tuesday. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev described the achievement as a revolutionary event. (Agencies)
Medvedev said he was proud of the Soviet cosmonaut's maiden human space flight 50 years ago this day and his country still dreams of conquering other planets and flying to distant stars.
On April 12, 1961, the Vostok spacecraft took the first ever human being - Gagarin - into space.
The maiden space flight was a major scientific victory for the USSR over its Cold War era rival the United States, which later scored a counter point by sending the first man on the moon.
"I believe it was a truly revolutionary event, a highly symbolic one. It was a tremendous achievement of Soviet cosmonautics, which divided the world into 'before' and 'after the flight,' what has been termed the space era," Medvedev said.
According to many Russian bloggers, even though the Kremlin could be basking in the glory of the Soviet Cosmonautics feat, at many places the abbreviation CCCP (USSR) has sappeared from the helmet of Gagarin in his photos displayed at many official expositions to mark the golden jubilee of his space flight.
President Medvedev has ordered a 50 gun salute on Tuesday night at 10 PM Moscow time to mark the 50th anniversary of the maiden human space flight of Gagarin.
The UN General Assembly last Thursday adopted a resolution initiated by Russia declaring April 12 as "International Day of Human Space Flight".
Besides Gagarin, Russia gave tribute to the man who created the rocket that took him into space – chief Soviet rocket engineer Sergei Korolev.
Declassified documents released last week threw light on some of the mysterious aspects of Gagarin's life, and his death.
The documents said that his jet likely manoeuvred sharply to avoid a weather balloon, prompting it to crash in a region outside Moscow and killing Gagarin and his instructor.
Moscow: Yuri Gagarin's path-breaking first flight to space has completed its 50 years on Tuesday. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev described the achievement as a revolutionary event.