Orthodox priest bless spacecraft ahead of ISS launch

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Baikonur, June 5 (IANS) An Orthodox priest on Tuesday blessed a Soyuz spacecraft ahead of the launch of a manned mission to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Russian-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

As part of the blessing service, the priest clasped a crucifix in his left hand while flinging around holy water with his right, reported Efe news.

A crew consisting of US NASA astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor, German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst and Russian Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, will travel to the ISS on Wednesday.

The astronauts will be tasked with conducting various scientific experiments.

The Soyuz MS-09 is expected to dock at the ISS at 9.07 a.m. on Friday.

–IANS

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