On January 25, 1961, first appointments to the positions of cosmonauts took place.

63 years ago, Valery Bykovsky, Yuri Gagarin, Grigory Nelyubov, Andriyan Nikolaev, Pavel Popovich and German Titov were appointed to the positions of cosmonauts in the first group for space flights by order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force. All of them were trained on the first Vostok space simulator, which is currently stored in the museum of the Gagarin Research and Test Cosmonaut Training Center. This year the Center became a partner of the Tsiolkovsky International Space Film Festival.

The cosmonaut corps was going through training from mid–March 1960 until April 12, 1961 - the legendary day for the whole world when man conquered outer space. It was Yuri Gagarin who became the commander of the detachment and, accordingly, the first on the list.

The next in turn was German Titov, who spent a full day in space. Then, Andriyan Nikolaev and Pavel Popovich saw our planet among the stars. Valery Bykovsky went into space with the Vostok 5 mission. By the way, this mission was a joint one with Vostok 6, when a woman, Valentina Tereshkova, flew into space for the first time.

The first cosmonauts are heroes who opened the door to the space age for mankind. They risked their lives to cross the boundaries of our planet and pave the way for new knowledge and opportunities. Their exploits inspired generations, proved a person's ability to overcome difficulties and strive for the unknown!

In 2024, the anniversary Tsiolkovsky International Space Film Festival is dedicated to the 90th birthday of Yuri Gagarin and his colleagues – Soviet and Russian cosmonauts.

The Tsiolkovsky International Space Film Festival in 2024 is held with the support of the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives, the Roscosmos State Corporation and the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, the Government and the Ministry of Culture of the Kaluga Region, the Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics, the Association of Planetariums of Russia, the Nika TV Company and other public and commercial organizations. TASS is the main media partner of the festival.