The Soyuz TMA-15 launched today with Soyuz commander Roman Romanenko, European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne of Belgium (Belgium's second man in space after Dirk Frimout). and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk. All five space agencies building the International Space Station will be represented by full-time crew members for the first time. Interestingly, this evening's tagline on the news was "Lots of ritual before the launch." including an orthodox priest splashing De Winne's face with holy water... part of a fixed ritual the Russians always perform before a launch.
Soyuz TMA-15 Launch Expedition 20-21