Le Crew Dragon de SpaceX attend sur le pas de tir du centre spatial Kennedy. Son lancement direction la Station spatiale internationale avec à son bord Thomas Pesquet est prévu pour ce vendredi 23 avril 2021, à 11 h 49, heure de Paris. © Nasa

These funny traditions that astronauts do not deviate from before they go to space

Sixty years after Yuri Gagarin, space travel is still a event. From Russia to the United States, the select astronauts continue to respect certain traditions and some rituals practiced by those who preceded them. Little habits are sometimes serious, sometimes more ridiculous.

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When you are an astronaut, there are traditions that do not detract from them. On the occasion of its first flight into space in 2016, Thomas Pesquet He bowed to those Russian astronauts understood – who adopted, for some, about 60 years ago until now, when it all began, before the historic launch of Yuri Gagarin.

Sign on door Hotel rooms that accommodate the crew during the last days before the flight. Toast with the hotel staff. To plant a tree In the hotel garden – this tradition applies only to the first flight on board A. Rocket Soyuz. Raise the flag of his country. See White sun Desert », Western, Soviet, black and white. Or we still respect the “technical break”: a few hundred meters before the rocket, the bus carrying astronauts stops and … they’ll relieve – or at least pretend – on its right rear wheel!

Various rituals but still rituals

On American soil, traditions are changing – they are more inherited The Apollo missions – but it is still inconceivable that the astronauts would not respect them. “Astronauts are not generally superstitious, but …”Thomas Pesquet says Twitter. Thus, if those who are about to take off on the side of the Baikonur do not discover the missile until the last moment, at the Kennedy Space Center, they especially attest to its vertical position.

Among the other rituals that astronauts have adopted over time: play a game with the person in charge NASA Not being able to leave his office before winning, eating a special meal before boarding, taking one last look at the missile at the firing point, put his signature on the wall before entering the capsule. And the grandmother with the advent Reusable launchersMark with his initials Pushers From the missile.

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