On Dec 17th, in the midst of the pre-Christmas flurry, Niamh heads off to Kazakstan for the landing of Expedition 56 as they return to Earth following their 6 month mission aboard the International Space Station. She also reflects on the launch back in June, which she also witnessed, and shares her thoughts finally about the impact that event had on her.
It’s an early start to the day, but there’s a lot to see- the rollout of the Soyuz MS-09 which will take the three astronauts to the International Space Station two days later
We visit the Yuri Gagarin Monument and meet a young boy names Sascha
I get poked in the arm, and awake suddenly. The lady seated beside me, points to the air stewardess standing in the aisle, who I can just about make out beneath a mounting pile of blankets she is clearly collecting. ‘Oh, sorry’, I say in a half-sleep, giving away my snuggly blanket. ‘We’re about to land’, she says and smiles.
This kid has completely captivated me. I think he (or maybe she) is about 14 or 15 months old. He has a gorgeous moon face with big bright smiling eyes. He looks Kazak, and he’s carelessly wobbling around the waiting area.