Once again we saw off to space an international space crew from Baikonur.
Despite extreme weather conditions common for Kazakh steppes in winter many space enthusiasts from all over the world came to support the crew made up of commander Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and flight engineers ESA astronaut David Saint-Jaques and NASA astronaut Ann MacCain . On the whole we had guests from Germany, Mexico, Singapore, Canada, Italy, Australia and of course Russia.
As always our program started with observation of the roll-out and erection of the rocket. For the period of our stay the guests visited all museums and monuments of Baikonur, learned a lot about history of cosmonautics, made a plenty of spectacular shots and bought space souvenirs.
On the launch day we traditionally watched the cosmonauts leaving Cosmonaut hotel at pad 17, witnessed crew’s ready-to-go report to the state commission and went to the viewing site.
At 17.32, local time, the rocket lifted off and we held our breath counting seconds to the insertion. Finally the third stage separated successfully and the spacecraft entered the orbit.
In six hours the crew docked with the station and for us it was time to leave the space city.