The WorldSkills flag flew to the International Space Station on board of the Soyuz MS-07 spaceship that was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome today on 17 December 2017.
The crew consists of Anton Shkaplerov, Russian cosmonaut from the GCTC, Norishige Kanai, JAXA astronaut from Japan, and Scott David Tingle, NASA astronaut from the USA.
Present at the event was President of the Republic of Tatarstan, Deputy Chairman of WorldSkills Kazan 2019 Organizing Committee, Rustam Minnikhanov, who shared his emotions. "The impression is great. I expected that it would be enormous, but this complex, and this history: "Buran", museum, and the launch... The significant event for our country took place today — we sent the WorldSkills flag into space.
We think that WorldSkills is not merely a fashion choice. We show respect for vocational workers. We aim to raise the status of vocational occupations in society to make them as respectable as our world champions and Olympic medallists. They're given an important task — to represent the level of vocational training in our country. We need to deliver the Competition on the highest level. It will bring to our life more respect for representatives of vocational occupations."
"We hope that the flag will not only come back to Earth safe and sound but also will inspire out team with its cosmic energy to win in Kazan in 2019," noted Robert Urazov, Director General of the Union “Young Professionals (WorldSkills Russia)”. "Vocational occupations events bring together representatives of different professions and not the athletes," he reminded. "But this event does resemble the sporting competitions. It also features intense competition, so the mood, passion and will to win are very important," explained Urazov.
Anton Shkaplerov, Soyuz MS-07 Crew Commander, shared his thoughts the day before the launch: "Even at the International Space Station professional skills are important. At least you have to know how to tighten the nuts and repair the mechanisms with the help of common tools you use every day at the garage. The most importnat is to bring together as many people as possble and to see our team win!"
We remind that the spaceflight of the flag is a part of the WorldSkills Flag Relay which started in October 2017. The flag was officially handed to Kazan as the next host city of the Competition on 20 October during the Closing Ceremony of WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017. The relay started from the flag honouring ceremony during the World Festival of Youth and Students on 21 October.
The flag will come back to Earth on 27 February 2018 and the Relay will be continued across the 21 countries who previously hosted the Competition. It will feature 33 host cities.
After the international itinerary, the flag will come to Russia. It is expected that the flag will travel across all 85 regions of the country, 43 municipal districts, and 2 urban district of Tatarstan. The flag will be delivered to Kazan afterwards – to the Opening Ceremony of WorldSkills Kazan 2019.
You can find all the information about WorldSkills Kazan 2019 on the official website www.worldskillskazan2019.com.
Media and Communications Department of Directorate for Sports and Social Projects