First Celebration Of Russian Space Forces' Day

The Russian Space Forces' Day is celebrated for the first time on October 4, the 44th anniversary of the first satellite's launch. The space troops were established by a decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 24, 2001. The new arm included the Space Missile Defence Forces and the space vehicles launch and guidance commands and units detached from the Strategic Missile Forces. Since August 1, 2001, these forces have been controlled by the Space Forces Command Point, Colonel General Anatoly Perminov being their head. The launch of the missile carrying the first satellite was prepared and performed by the Baikonur range test unit. The Space Forces press-service noted that this event of the past years was really crucial now. One cannot help but be surprised how fast the Baikonur cosmodrome was constructed and the missile carrying the first satellite developed. The construction of the cosmodrome was started in February 1955, and the governmental decision to start works on creating the first artificial satellite of the Earth was adopted in late 1956. This launch was "a bolt from the blue" for the Americans. US President John Kennedy would say a bit later: "we were shocked and could neither take decisions nor talk to each other for a whole week."

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