July 6, 2019

Today, on July 6, 2019, in front of the Cosmonaut Hotel (site № 17 of the Baikonur Cosmodrome), a ceremony was held to raise the flags of countries, participating in the launch of the “Soyuz MS-13” spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS).

The traditional event, which symbolizes the official start of the final stage of preparation for launch, was attended by the main and backup crews of the 60/61st long expedition to the ISS.

Cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Sergey Ryzhikov raised the flag of Russia, astronauts Andrew Morgan and Thomas Mashburn – the flag of the USA, Luca Parmitano – the flag of Italy and Soichi Noguchi – the flag of Kazakhstan.

The event was attended by representatives of the “Roskosmos” State Corporation , the administration of the city of Baikonur, the Space Center “Yuzhny”, as well as specialists from the GCTC, providing prelaunch crew training.

According to tradition, after the flag raising ceremony, backup crew (Sergey Ryzhikov, Thomas Mashburn and Soichi Noguchi) went on a tour of Baikonur.

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 memory of legendary designer Sergey Korolev.

The launch of the “Soyuz-FG” launch vehicle with the “Soyuz MS-13” spacecraft is scheduled for July 20, 2019 from the Baikonur cosmodrome.

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