Yuri Gagarin: All my life like one beautiful moment

Here are excerpts from the first spaceman’s statement voiced minutes before his spaceship blasted off on April 12th, 1961. “Dear friends, close ones and strangers, compatriots, people of all the countries and continents! In a few minutes from now, a powerful spacecraft will carry me to the far-away expanses of the Universe. What can I say to you while these last minutes before the start? It seems to me now that all my life is one beautiful moment. All what has been gone through, all that has been done – all has been gone through and done for this minute’s sake… I am not just glad or proud. I am really happy to be the first in the outer space, to enter into this unprecedented single battle with Nature. Could I have dreamt of more? At the same time, I cannot help thinking of an unprecedented responsibility which has laid upon me. This is a responsibility before all the mankind, before its present, and before its future... A countdown is to start soon. I say goodbye to you, like anybody does when setting out for a long journey. How I would love to embrace all of you, acquaintances and strangers, far-away friends and close ones! See you soon!”

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