The business end

Today we had our final fit check!!!  Next time we see the vehicle it will be on the launch pad!

We got to go into the space craft one last time to check it out, see where are stuff is stowed and make sure everything is where we want it.  “Agat” is beautiful.  I refer to her as Agat since that is Yuri’s call sign.  If you watch the launch on NASA TV you will most likely hear using his callsign on the radio.  Yuri is Agat 1, I am Agat 2 and Aki is Agat 3.  Right now the capsule (and covering)  is not mated to the booster and she is standing upright.  They will turn her on her side to be moved and mated.  The picture attached is “our” booster – the business end!  You can see it is on it’s side and is ready for the capsule.  The entire stack will stay on its side and be “rolled out” to the launch pad on Thursday!

“Our” booster – the business end!

Next we visited the museum which is inside the cosmodrome.  Wonderful people there with just amazing facts about the space program and it’s history.  The homes built for Korolev and Gagarian still stand and are as they were when they were here.  Certainly a must see with old Russian record players and telephones.  I love it!!!!

Lastly we started a new tradition today.   We raised our Soyuz flag at the museum.  We were the very first crew to do this!  Pretty neat tradition we started today – second picture!!!  I think you guys know, I love this place with steeped in tradition.  We are very thankful for those who came before us and paved the road we are ready to take!!!!

New tradition — raising Soyuz flag.

Mike, Dina, Kurt, Kathy, Al, Gwen, Larry, Patty, John, Val, Sharon, Grace and Evelyn arrived yesterday.  They are touring around  in Moscow today and will be here in Baikonur tomorrow.  They will arrive in time to get some sleep and be ready for “roll out” on Thursday.  Time seems to be accelerating now!!!!

In case you want to see some really nice photos, please check out Victor’s picasa webpage.  He is the official photographer for NASA here.  He updates the website pretty much each day as events are occurring.

The link stays the same:
https://picasaweb.google.com/113204772517886470904/SoyuzTMA05M?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCJyfyf7i8a3ntgE&feat=directlink

Thanks for being part of this experience with me,
s

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