On May 15, 2014 GCTC saw formal parting events: ISS 40/41 main and back up crews were leaving for Baikonur spaceport where they will be having final preflight trainings before the launch. The main crew consists of Maksim Surayev, Roscosmos, Reid Wiseman, NASA and Alexander Gerst, ESA; the back-up crew comprises Anton Shkaplerov ( Roscosmos, Samantha Christoforetti, ESA and Terry Virts ( NASA).
After traditional breakfast among colleagues the crews walked along the alley to Lenin’s stele where they made memorable photos and answered the journalists’ questions. This formal event was attended by crew members’ relatives and friends, GCTC authorities and other cosmonauts.
After that the crew went to Chkalovsky airfield. Special charter with m. Surayevm R. Wiseman and A. Gerst onboard took off at 11.15, the next charter with A. Shkaplerov, S. Christoforetti and T. Virts followed the first one ten minutes later – at 11.25, Moscow time.
The launch of Soyuz TMA-11m is scheduled for may 28, 2014.