In cold weather, the clear sky in the center of Kazakhstan carefully maneuvered the Russian Soyuz rocket that would take Canadian David Saint-Jacques into orbit and was brought to its final position by train before the Monday explosion.
The so-called id presentation inden is one of the most important rituals of pre-launch routine for the mission that will take Saint-Jacques and two other astronauts to the International Space Station.
The event, marked by tradition, attracted hundreds of viewers to Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome, which took place in a flat, deserted landscape of Central Asia.
Before the dawn, the procession started with the spacecraft leaving the hangar from which it was mounted, and the four giant engines first appeared. When the slow moving train reaches the launch station after almost two hours, the rocket is lowered to the vertical position with the help of a giant hydraulic arm.
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In 2017, Canadian Josh Kutryk, one of Canada's two new astronaut candidates, said, "That was great." Said.
Part of a large delegation sent by the Canadian Space Agency to witness the launch.
Etin It's fascinating to think we're doing this to see that the rocket is going out and going down the railroad tracks, and that it's fueled, and finally passengers get on the ship. “
According to tradition, cosmonauts and astronauts do not participate in the publication. Earlier this week, Saint-Jacques and her two colleagues, American Anne McClain and Russian Oleg Kononenko, visited the rocket and tested the equipment for the last time.
Saint-Jacques is expected to hold a last press conference in Baikonur on Sunday, but expressed confidence in technology in previous talks and said he is eager to start his journey.
A Russian Orthodox priest will officially bless the rocket on Sunday and the crew will gain a blessing once again at the designated hour for Monday at 6:31 pm ET.
Hissediy I feel proud and happy for David, Kut said Kutryk.
Tourists on the launch pad
Saint-Jacques' wife, Véronique, and two of her three young children were left in the crowd and cheered up as she moved to the final weightlifting position of Soyuz.
Those carrying the Canadian flags were Michael, Joe and Patricia Olson from Williams Lake, England.
Michael Olson decided to fly to Central Asia to send him, saying that they had been so inspired by meeting Saint-Jacques two years ago.
”I've always been interested in space travel,“ he said.
"[When] We met David, we said we'd see his launch, so we make a promise. "
His mother, Patricia, says he never expects to end by watching a rocket explosion in the middle of Central Asia.
He said, "Incredible." "He's taking us to places we can never think."
Many tour agents visiting the Soyuz launches are usually in the range of 5,000 Cdn per person.
Rare launch for Canada
Since the retirement of the last space shuttle, Russia's Soyuz program has been the only way to bring astronauts to the ISS.
NASA allocates approximately US $ 80 million for each astronaut and allocates them among nations that financially support the ISS project.
Canada's contribution led to the unforgettable mission of Chris Hadfield as ISS commander five years ago, but his trip to Saint-Jacques is the only one scheduled for a Canadian astronaut right now.
With the Canadian Space Agency Jeremy Hansen, the other single active astronaut may have to wait a few years before it has entered before.
The Baikonur plant was built in the early 1960s in the Soviet Union's space program.
Although Russia has since built a new chondromat in the far east of the country, the Vostochny plant is only managing cargo flights and is expected to continue in Kazakhstan in the foreseeable future.
The launch of Saint-Jacques was initially planned later in December, but after the last manned Soyuz launch in October failed to reach its orbit.
Two crew members ruthlessly escaped after a ballistic descent in the high-risk atmosphere that returned to the world.