“Dear friends, known and unknown to me,
my dear compatriots and all people of the world.
In the next few minutes a mighty spaceship
will carry me off into the distant spaces
of the universe.
What can I say to you during these last
minutes before the start? All my life now
appears as a single beautiful moment to me.
All I have done and lived for has been
done and lived for for this moment.”
— Yuri Gagarin, moments before lifting off on Vostok 1 on April 12, 1961