Photo taken on March 21, 2015, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan A practical forest now stands in Baikonur, where 50 years ago one did not.This is thanks to a tradition dating back to Gagarin's launch.A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying the unmanned Progress 65 cargo ship stands ready for its Dec. The supply ship will deliver more than 2.5 tons of supplies to the International Space Station.
"It is really great to be a part of this." After flying from Moscow to Baikonur on March 14, the trio took part in a traditional flag-raising ceremony, symbolizing the official start to the final stage of their prelaunch preparations.
Kelly, together with his backup, NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams, raised the American flag, while Kornienko and Padalka hoisted the Russian colors.
On March 23, the three took "ownership" of their spacecraft, Soyuz TMA-16M, during a customary handover ceremony between the crew and the team at Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC) Energia, the company that builds the capsules and boosters.
The same event included an opportunity for Kelly, Kornienko and Padalka to climb into the Soyuz and check out their ride to orbit.
Remaining debris from the incinerated spacecraft fell over the Tuva Republic in southern Siberia.
Read the full story here: Russian Space Cargo Ship Destroyed in Failed Launch, Debris Burns Up A cargo resupply mission will launch to the International Space Station (ISS) this morning, and you can watch the spacecraft's liftoff and arrival at the orbiting laboratory via a live webcast. You can watch the Progress cargo ship launch live here at beginning at a.m. More than 2.5 tons (2.3 metric tons) of food, clothing, fuel, spare parts and other supplies for the space station crew are stuffed inside the cargo ship.
[See photos of the one-year space mission] Here is a list of some of the customs the two spacefarers have and are still to participate in: On March 6, prior to departing the training center at Star City, located just outside of Moscow, Kelly, Kornienko and Padalka visited the office of the first person to fly in space, the late Yuri Gagarin, which has been preserved as part of the center's cosmonaut memorial museum.
There, they sat at Gagarin's desk and, following tradition, signed a guest book that has been autographed by the crews that have preceded them to space.
On March 26, the crew gathered to watch the tradition-dictated "White Sun of the Desert." The 1970 popular action-comedy by Russian filmmaker Vladimir Motyl follows a soldier during the Russian Civil War.
The soldier wants to return home to his wife but instead must guard a harem of the rebel leader.
As legend has it, Yuri Gagarin paused on the way out to the launch pad to relieve himself one last time, and so began a final tradition.