December 3, 2015

Yesterday, on December 2, 2015, Baikonur say traditional flag-raising ceremony taking place at #17 launchpad in front of “Cosmonaut” hotel.

ISS-46/47 mission prime and back-up crews took part in this ceremony symbolizing the beginning of final prelaunch preparations. Roscosmos cosmonauts Yuri Malenchenko and Anatoly Ivanishin raised the Russian flag, NASA astronauts Timothy Kopra and Kathleen Rubins – the flag of USA, ESA astronaut – UK flag and JAXA astronaut Takuya Onishi – the flag of Kazakhstan.

The ceremony was attended by Federal space agency representatives, Baikonur authorities and GCTC specialists responsible for prelaunch trainings.

After the ceremony following long-standing tradition ISS-46/47 back-up crew members had a sightseeing tour around Baikonur, learned about the history of the city and Kazakh traditions.

The first places to visit were the monuments to the Earth first ever cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin and legendary Soviet Chief Designer Sergey Korolev. Then the crews went to Baikonur spaceport history museum. The cosmonauts tried on traditional Kazakh suits and after excursion left signatures and wrote about their impressions in memorable guest book.

The launch of Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft is scheduled for December 15, 2015.

Photo credit: GCTC

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