Today, on March 26, 2020, at the site № 17 of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in front of the Cosmonaut Hotel, a ceremony was held to raise the flags of the countries, participating in the launch of the “Soyuz MS-16” manned spacecraft.
The main and the backup crews of the ISS-63 long expedition took part in the traditional event.
Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Wagner raised the Russian flag, NASA astronauts Christopher Cassidy and Stephen Bowen – the USA flag, Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Babkin – the flag of Kazakhstan.
The event was attended by representatives of the RSC “Energia”, Yuzhny Space Center (parts of the Roskosmos State Corporation), as well as administrations of the city of Baikonur and specialists of the Cosmonaut Training Center, providing pre-launch crew training.
After the flag-raising ceremony according to the tradition the backup crew (Sergey Ryzhikov, Andrey Babkin and Stephen Bowen) went on a sightseeing bus tour of Baikonur, whose history is inextricably linked with the names of great people, involved in space exploration.
In connection with the spread of coronavirus infection, a traditional visit to memorial sites of the city of Baikonur, laying flowers at the monuments to the first cosmonaut of the world Yuri Gagarin and the legendary designer Sergey Korolev were canceled.
The launch of the “Soyuz MS-16” manned spacecraft with the crew of a long expedition to the International Space Station is scheduled for April 9, 2020 from platform № 31 of the Baikonur Cosmodrome.