Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Space suit blowdown is carried out prior to each flight several hours before the launch. Journalists and relatives come to see how space suits of cosmonauts are proofed for impermeability. Then they have some time to talk to their families.

Before leaving the hotel, the cosmonauts sign on doors of their rooms with black markers. It’s a tradition kept since the Soviet time.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

To the music of a popular Russian space song the crew come out of the training center and get in the bus to head to the cosmodrome.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

A specially equipped bus transports the main crew, another one carries backup crew members. The buses are followed by the police.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Relatives of the cosmonauts, journalists and space tourists come to the launch pad too.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Soon we are invited to a special room with purified air and a glass partition, where the crew members appear dressed in space suits.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Onboard engineer Oleg Skripochka.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Cameramen do their job.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Commander of the crew.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Commander takes his place in a lodgemen first. Lodgements are custom made according to individual physical features of cosmonauts.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Now they put on a full pressure helmet and gloves and then proof the space suit for  impermeability.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Each suit is provided with a ventilation system – some canals are used to supply conditioned air to the entire body, others are used for air suction.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

“Orlan-MK” space suits will soon be replaced with “Orlan-MKS”.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

The inside of the suit is rubber-fabric, the outside is fabric only. Americans use nylon, Russians – kapron. It protects rubber from damage.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

The observational mode requires relatives to stay away, so the crew members in their suits are behind the glass partition, they use microphones for communication with families.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Journalists may ask questions, relatives encourage the cosmonauts.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Children begin to ask questions first.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

– Father, why do you need so many watches?
– A watch, a barometer and a computer. The latter will let the cosmonaut know if any systems stop working properly.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Father promised to the boy that he would check how he has learned the multiplication table when he comes back.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Little daughter of cosmonaut Alexey gave him a new lucky charm – a pink owl toy.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

When they are finished with the space suit blowdown, all journalists and operators are asked to leave.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Journalists and space tourists…

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

March 19th, 00:24 – cosmonauts appear ready for a flight. They carry suitcases with life sustaining equipment inside.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Reporting to the senior staff of “Roscosmos”. Cosmonauts raise the glass of their helmets in any weather, even when it’s freezing cold.

Now “Soyuz TMA-20M” is ready for a flight!

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

The report is brief. The crew is about to go to the launching site №1 which is also called “Gagarin’s launch”. The cosmonauts use an elevator to get to the spaceship, then they have to undergo the pre-launch check of all systems.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

The codename of the new crew is “Burlak” (“Hauler”) after the name of Rybinsk – the capital of haulers.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Launch vehicle. They use only ecologically clean fuel components for all “Soyuz” spacecrafts – kerosene and liquefied oxygen. Steam appears as a result of liquid oxygen evaporation.

Cosmonauts Getting Ready for a Flight

Here we go!

Thanks to fotografersha for the photos!

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