Baikonur saw flag-raising ceremony before the launch of Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft. 36/37 ISS missions main and back-up crews take part in this ceremony which symbolizes the final step of preflight trainings.
Russian cosmonauts of main and back-p crews Fyodor Yuchikhin and Mikhail Tyurin raised the flag of Russia, while NASA astronauts Caren Nyberg and Rick Mastracchio raised US flag, ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano – Italian flag and JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata – the flag of Kazakhstan.
Representatives of Baikonur authorities and GCTC specialists also attended the ceremony.
The launch of Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft is scheduled for night of May 28-29, 2013.
Image credit – Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center