In this clip from the 1967 Soviet movie “A Cruise to the Stars,” cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin is shown training for his historic mission as engineers test various systems of the Vostok capsule. Accepting the task before him, Gagarin tells space officials that if he encounters any difficulties in space, “I will overcome them as the communists do.” On launch day, April 12, 1961, Chief Designer Sergei Korolev radios his best wishes as Gagarin takes off. After his 108-minute flight, Gagarin becomes an international sensation, with parades and celebrations in his honor.
“A Cruise to the Stars,” which runs 52 minutes, was made to commemorate the first 10 years of the Soviet space program. “We do not consider the conquest of space as the achievement of only our people but as that of all mankind,” the narrator says. “We happily place it at the disposal of all nations and peoples in the name of progress, happiness, and welfare of all men.”