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Cosmonautics Day is declared to be a day off in Baikonur
A lot of festive events are planned to take place this Wednesday in the "space harbour" from where Yuri Gagarin set out for the first space flight 45 years ago. A traditional Gagarin 32-kilometre marathon from the Vostok spacecraft launch site to the city's central square took place there in the morning, the Kazkosmos company's press secretary Sara Nurgaliyeva told Itar-Tass. Festive events will be held all over the republic, she said. Laying out of a tree-lined Space Alley of 145 poplars began at the crossing of Al-Farabi Avenue and Navoi Street on Wednesday morning. Poplar is translated into Kazakh as "baiterek", as the Russian-Kazakh space programme to build a launch site for Angara rockets is named, Nurgaliyeva explained. The tree planting ceremony will be ended with treating of all the participants to a festive spring dish Nauryz-Kozhe. A meeting of three generations, veterans of the republic's space and aviation sectors, current workers of the national space company and the youth studying in institutions of higher learning to become specialists in the space fields, will be held in the Kazakh Concert Hall in Alma Ata in the evening. The meeting will be ended with a concert. After the festivities, Baikonur will return to the usual tight schedule, Roskosmos sources said on Wednesday. Fueling of the Progress M-56 cargo craft is planned for April 14. Launching of the space vehicle to the International Space Station is planned for April 24.
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