February 28, 2019

Today, at the Baikonur cosmodrome, in front of the “Cosmonaut” Hotel, a ceremony was held to raise the flags of countries, participating in the “Soyuz MS-12” international launch to the International Space Station.

The traditional event, which symbolizes the official start of the final stage of crew preparation for a launch, was attended by the main and backup crews of the 59 / 60th long expedition to the ISS.

Roskosmos cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Alexander Skvortsov raised the Russian flag, NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch – the USA flag, ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano and NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan – the flag of Kazakhstan.

The event was attended by representatives of the State Corporation “Roskosmos”, the administration of the city of Baikonur, and specialists from the Cosmonaut Training Center, who provided pre-launch crew training.

After the flag-raising ceremony, Alexander Skvortsov, Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan went on a tour of Baikonur, which is traditional for the backup crew.

Walking around the city, whose history is linked with the names of great people, involved in space exploration, the crew laid flowers at the monument to Yuri Gagarin and paid tribute to the legendary designer Sergey Korolev.

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