BAIKONUR, KAZAKHSTAN â€“ That rocket looked so tiny from a mile away. Shining white against the dull beige sands of Baikonur, the Soyuz had three people on board all set for a ride to the International Space Station. From this distance, though, it appeared fragile, like a child’s plaything.
Standing beside me was a member of the backup crew, Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques. He passed the time talking to me about other launches he had seen. When the Soyuz finally lighted its engines â€“