September 13, 2016

Baikonur saw official flag-raising ceremony. Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrei Borisenko raised the flag of Russia, Alexander Misurkin and Nickolay Tikhonov – the flag of Kazakhstan, NASA astronauts Robert Shane Kimbrough and Mark Vande Hei – the flag of USA.

Roscosmos representatives, Baikonur authorities and GCTC specialists responsible for preflight preparations attended the ceremony.

Following the long-standing tradition back-up crew members went sightseeing Baikonur city after flag-raising ceremony. First of all Alexander Misurkin, Nockolay Tikhonov and Mark Vande Hei brought flowersYuri Gagarin and Sergey Korolyov monuments then visited Baikonur city museum where they learned about Kazakh traditions and tried on Kazakh national suits. Upon completion of the tour the crew signed memorable guest book.

The crews already performed Soyuz MS-02 fit-check in the integration building of pad 254. Under instructors’ control they checked the equipment they are going to work with in space and conducted other operations as follows:

–          Worked inside the habitation compartment and descent capsule without rescue spacesuits;

–          Tried on the spacesuits, accomplished leak tests, recorded medical parameters;

–          Worked inside the spacecraft wearing rescue spacesuits

–          Studied the equipment, payload to be delivered and its accommodation, had a briefing on  work with lidar satellite communication and direction finding system

The launch of Soyuz MS-02 is scheduled for September 23, 2016.

Photo credit: GCTC

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