Under cold and clear skies in central Kazakhstan, the Russian Soyuz rocket that will drive Canadian David Saint-Jacques in orbit was carefully maneuvers from its hanger and brought by rail to its final position before both passed.
The so-called "launch" is one of the most important rituals in routine & # 39; before launching a mission that will take Saint-Jacques and two other astronauts in the International Space Station.
The event, which is bordered in tradition, bring hundreds & # 39; on a cold morning in Kosmodrome of spectators & # 39; Baikonur Russia, placed in an artificial beach and desolata Central Asia.
The procession & # 39; before the start began by space launched from the hangar where it was mounted, with four & # 39; His giant machines come first. When the train arrived slow in launching station almost two hours later, the rocket was facilitated in & # 39; vertical position with the help of & # 39; giant hydraulic arm.
"It was wonderful", said Canadian Josh Kutryk, which was selected as one of Canada's two new astronaut candidates in 2017.
It is part of a large delegation sent by the Canadian Space Agency to launch witnessed.
"To be fortunate enough to see that the rocket would spread and the railroad tracks, and to view and fuel have finally put passengers on board, it is fascinating to think that we are doing this."
By & # 39; tradition, the cosmonauts and astronauts to participate in the launch. Earlier this week, Saint-Jacques and his two colleagues, American Anne McClain and Russian Oleg Kononenko visited the rocket and capsule tested the device for the last time.
Saint-Jacques is expected to hold final news conference at Baikonur on Sunday but f & # 39; previous intervention he expressed confidence in the technology and said it is eager to begin his journey.
Russian priest Ortodossu will officially proclaim the hero on Sunday and crew will be blessing separate hours before departure, which is set for 6:31 ET Monday.
"I feel proud and happy for David", said Kutryk.
- See our special interactive live show showing Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, starting Monday 6 a.m. ET on CBC News Network and CBCNews.ca.
Tourist Launch pad
The woman & # 39; Saint-Jacques, Véronique, and two of their three small children were in the crowd and celebrated as the Soyuz lifted into the final position liftoff.
Among those flying Canadian flags were Michael, Joe and Patricia Olson from Williams Lake, B.C.
Michael Olson says they were so inspired meeting & # 39; Saint-Jacques two years ago, decided to fly on the way to Central Asia to send.
"I always had an interest in space travel", he said.
"[When] we met & # 39; David were able to we will see its launch, so we're reaching promise. "
His mother, Patricia, says she never expected that it would end in the middle & # 39; Central Asia while taraet rocket blast into space.
"It's incredible," she said. "He is taking us in & # 39; places that never thought we would."
Several travel agencies offer tours to launches & # 39; Soyuz, with prices generally in the range of & # 39; $ 5,000 CDN per person.
rare for Canadian Launch
Since retiring the last space shuttle, the Russian Soyuz program was the only way to bring astronauts to the ISS.
NASA pays approximately $ 80 million in the United States & # 39; seat per share between nations astronauts and financially support the ISS project.
The contribution of Canada led to the memorable mission & # 39; Chris Hadfield as ISS commander five years ago, but the trip & # 39; Saint-Jacques is the only one scheduled for Canadian astronauts.
The only other active astronaut with & # 39; the Canadian Space Agency, Jeremy Hansen, can & # 39; have to wait several more years before entering width.
The ease & # 39; Baikonur was built in the early sixties during the vigor of the Soviet space program.
Although Russia has since built a new cosmodrome in the country & # 39; out of the east, the Vostochny launch facility deals only with goods, and launches in Kazakhstan is expected to continue in the near future.
Launch & # 39; Saint-Jacques was initially scheduled for later in & # 39; December but was moved after the recent launch of & # 39; Soyuz issued in & # 39; October failed to arrive in orbit.
Both members & # 39; crew fled after the missiles landing b & # 39; high risk & # 39; atmosphere back to Earth.