A launch day ritual

A launch day ritual

Released

15/12/2010 3:02 pm

Copyright

ESA - S. Corvaja, 2010

Description

ESA's astronaut Paolo Nespoli and his crewmates during traditional blessing by a Russian Orthodox priest at the Cosmonaut Hotel at Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on 15 December 2010.

Paolo Nespoli was launched in a Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft on 15 December at 20:09 CET with Dmitri Kondratyev and Catherine Coleman for a challenging 6-month mission on the International Space Station (ISS) as members of Expeditions 26/27.

Paolo’s MagISStra mission is Europe’s third long-duration mission on the ISS. Between December 2010 and June 2011 he will be part of the ISS crew as a flight engineer.

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