When the last batch of astronauts were sent to ISS, I read that the crew and rocket were blessed by a priest. Was this a one-time thing, or is it standard?
The barricades to faith fell along with the Berlin Wall and religion now thrives in Russia and the cities and nations of the old empire. That includes Baikonur, where cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko and astronaut Scott Kelly will take off in the early hours of March 28 for a long-duration stay aboard the International Space Station—and where less than 37 hours before launch, three Russian Orthodox priests arrived to perform a blessing of the Soyuz rocket that will carry the men. . . .
Terrible things can happen when people dare to fly to space. It’s in the nature of human beings to make such presumptuous journeys anyway. And it’s in our nature too to seek a little safety and comfort before we do.
For the first time it was in 1994, when Mir commander Alexander Viktorenko asked a priest to bless his rocket before launch See https://meduza.io/cards/zachem-osvyaschayut-rakety (in Russian, use Google translate)