The Vietnam-Russia Friendship Association and the Military Technical Academy held a ceremony in Hanoi on July 22 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Vietnam-Russia friendship space-flight mission (July 23).

Addressing the ceremony, Chairman of the Vietnam-Russia Friendship Association Dao Trong Thi underlined the traditional 65-year friendship between Vietnam and Russia, saying generations of the Vietnamese and Russian people have continuously consolidated the time-honoured relationship.

He stressed that Vietnam will never forget the wholehearted and effective assistance from the people of the former Soviet Union and current Russia to Vietnam’s fight for national liberation and development over the past 65 years.

He also highlighted the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia in spite of international changes.

The two countries will build on the positive momentum of the friendship flight 35 years ago to bring cooperation in space aviation between Vietnam and Russia to a new height, Thi added.

Cosmonaut of the former Soviet Union Viktor Vasilyevich Gorbatko, who undertook the mission 35 years ago, described the space flight mission as a historical milestone of the friendship between the two nations.

He recalled memories from the flight on the “Union-37″ spaceship and expressed his joy at reuniting with his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Tuan.

Cosmonaut Lieutenant General Pham Tuan shared his memories of the thrill that he felt when he saw the country’s shape from the flight.

The aerospace flight of the “Union-37″ spaceship mission with cosmonauts Pham Tuan and Victor Gorbatko aboard from July 23-31, 1980 became an historical event and the pride of the two nations. It landed safely after conducting scientific research programmes.

The success has inspired space technology research and application in Vietnam, resulting in a number of major achievements in the sector.

Vietnam launched its first communication satellite VINASAT-1 in April 2008 and the second, VINASAT-2, in 2012.-VNA