Hey there folks –
Again, another beautiful day in the winter desert of Kazakhstan. I took advantage of our situation and really didn’t get up until 9am our time. It was nice to sleep in after the banya.
Breakfast at 1000am, so why rush to anything??? Our big event today was raising the flags. Very cool and cold.
The group assembled in front of the Cosmonaut Hotel. The crews and the dignitaries on the side and Oleg Kotov faced the group and started the ceremony. He said, let’s keep it short since it is cold out here. It was short and very nice in fact.
We walked over to the flagpoles, Andre at the Dutch flag, Yuri and Oleg at the Russian flag, Don and me at the American flag and Aki got the Kazak flag. Some music started playing from somewhere and we began hoisting the flags up. We were all careful to stay together – not a race to the top of the flag pole. We got to the top and the music stopped and then we stood together again for the dignitaries to speak. A gentleman from the local gov’t spoke, then a representative from Roscosmos and then a Kazak representative spoke. They all were welcoming the group to the town and the cosmodrome and wishing us all good luck, safe flight and soft landing. Very nice and quick because it was quite cold.