Flag raising ceremony held at Baikonur ahead of upcoming launch
BAIKONUR. KAZINFORM – The crew members of the Soyuz MS-18 manned space vehicle participated in the flag raising ceremony traditionally held before the lift-off, Kazinform correspondent reports.
The ceremony held in front of the Kosmonaft hotel building was joined by members of the prime crew Russian Oleg Novitskiy and Petr Dubrov, who raised the Russian flag, backup crew members, Roscosmos astronauts Anton Shkaplerov and Oleg Artemev, who raised the Kazakh flag, and NASA astronauts Mark T. Vande Hei and Anne McClain, the latter two raised the U.S. flag.
The solemn ceremony has been held since the 1970s to kick-start the final stage of astronauts’ preparedness for the flight.
During the ceremony Russian astronaut Valeriy Korzun, Head of the Operations Group of the Cosmonaut Training Center, handed over the cosmonaut’s certificate to engineer Petr Dubrov, who is to go into space for the first time.
The members of the two crews continue their preparations for the flight undergoing training in on-board documentations, safety measures on the Russian segment of the ISS, and manual docking.
The Soyuz MS-18 manned space vehicle will lift off on April 9, 2021 at about 12:42am local time from the site number 31 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.