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08 March 2024, 14:41

Vasilevskaya, Lenkova raise Belarus’ flag at Baikonur Cosmodrome

MOSCOW, 8 March (BelTA) – Belarus’ flag was raised at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on 8 March, BelTA learned from the press service of the Cosmonaut Training Center.

“The morning at Baikonur began with the traditional ceremony of raising the flags of the countries participating in the international crewed spaceflight to the International Space Station (ISS). The event took place on the 17th site of the cosmodrome, in front of the Cosmonaut hotel. Taking part in the flag raising ceremony were the members of the main and backup crews of the Soyuz MS-25 spacecraft, including Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Ivan Vagner, space flight participants from Belarus Marina Vasilevskaya and Anastasia Lenkova, as well as NASA astronauts Tracy Dyson and Donald Pettit,” the press service informed.

Marina Vasilevskaya and Anastasia Lenkova raised the official flag of the Republic of Belarus, Oleg Novitsky raised the flag of the Russian Federation, Tracy Dyson and Donald Pettit raised the U.S. flag, Ivan Vagner raised the flag of Kazakhstan. “The traditional flag raising ceremony symbolizes the official start of the final stage of preparations for Expedition 71 (NASA astronauts) and Visiting Expedition 21 (Roscosmos cosmonauts and spaceflight participants) on a crewed mission,” the press service remarked.

The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Roscosmos State Corporation, the Baikonur city administration and specialists from the Cosmonaut Training Center.

“After the flag raising ceremony, the female members of the crew received congratulations on Women’s Day. After that the members of the backup crew went on a traditional excursion to Baikonur, the history of which is inextricably linked with the great people involved in space exploration,” the press service added.

The Soyuz MS-25 spacecraft is scheduled to be launched by a Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle on 21 March. The main crew of Visiting Expedition 21 to the International Space Station (ISS) includes Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky, Belarus’ Marina Vasilevskaya and NASA astronaut Tracy Dyson. The backup crew consists of Roscosmos cosmonaut Ivan Vagner, Belarusian space flight participant Anastasia Lenkova and NASA astronaut Donald Pettit.

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