Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

The Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign” Was in Earth Orbit on the ISS… an Unusual Procession around the Globe

An unusual procession with a copy of the Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign” occurred in space in Earth orbit. On 30 September, Soyuz TMA-16 was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome and it delivered the image of the Virgin to the International Space Station (ISS), a source at the Galaktika (Galaxy) training-operational centre (the initiators of the idea) told Interfax-Religion on Wednesday. The icon’s stay in space ended on 11 October. The icon was aboard the ISS for 176 Earth orbits. It returned to Earth on the spacecraft Soyuz TMA-14.

This copy of the Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign” will be on display 8-14 December at the Orthodox exhibition at VVTs. Anyone interested can see video and photographic coverage of the icon’s “procession” in Earth orbit. Patriarch Kirill blessed this project and the Centre of Russian National Glory, the St Andrew the First-Called Foundation, and the Energiya (Energy) Space Rocket Corporation sponsored it. Four years ago, an icon from the Our Saviour-Transfiguration Monastery of Valaam went into space. During its two-month stay aboard the station, it, along with cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, orbited the Earth about a thousand times.

25 November 2009




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