April, 12 – The International Day of Human Space Flight

April, 12 – The International Day of Human Space Flight

"Dear friends, both known and unknown to me, fellow countrymen, men and women of all lands and continents!

In a few minutes a mighty spaceship will take me into the far-away expanses of the Universe. What can I say to you in these last minutes before the start? I see my whole past life as one wonderful moment. Everything I have experienced and done till now has been in preparation for this moment. You must realise that it is hard to express my feelings now that the test for which we have been training ardently and long is at hand. I don't have to tell you what I felt when it was suggested that I should make this flight, the first in history. Was it joy? No, it was something more than that. Pride? No, it was not just pride. I felt very happy – to be the first in space, to engage in an unprecedented duel with Nature – could one dream of anything greater than that!

But then I thought of the tremendous responsibility of being the first to accomplish what generations of people had dreamed of, the first to show man the way into space... Can you think of a task more difficult that the one assigned to me. It is not responsibility to a single person, or dozens of people, or even a collective. It is responsibility to all Soviet people, to all mankind, to its present and its future. And if I am nevertheless venturing on this flight, it is because I am a Communist, because I draw strength from unexampled exploits performed by my compatriots, Soviet men and women. I know that I shall muster all my will power the better to do the job. Realising its importance, I will do all I can to carry out the assignment of the Communist Party and the Soviet people.

Am I happy to be starting on a space flight? Of course I am. In all times and all eras man's greatest joy has been to take part in new discoveries.

I would like to dedicate this first space flight to the people of communism, a society which our Soviet people are already entering, and which, I am confident, all nations on Earth will enter.

It is a matter of minutes now before the start. I say to you good-bye, dear friends, just as people say to each other when setting out on a long journey. I would like very much to embrace you all – people known and unknown to me, close friends and strangers alike.

See you soon!"

In the distant future, humanity will inevitably come to life without the pursuit of wealth, without exploitation, without national and racial oppression. But each of us has the opportunity to bring this bright time closer.

Communists have always been at the forefront of the struggle for a bright future for all humanity.

Be like Gagarin. Become a communist.