BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (CBS/AP) Anna Chapman, the Russian spy dubbed a "femme fatale" by tabloids, made an unexpected appearance at the launch of a space rocket in Kazakhstan.
The 28-year-old flame-haired spy watched the launch of a Russian rocket, with a U.S. astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts onboard, as it blasted off successfully early Friday for the International Space Station.
The Soyuz TMA-01M was launched at the scheduled time of 5:10 a.m. from the Baikonur cosmodrome in the vast steppe of southern Kazakhstan.
Chapman, who appeared in photos for a Russian magazine following her deportation, appeared at the farewell ceremony for the space crew. She told an Associated Press reporter that she had "just arrived" and refused to answer any questions.
She then walked hastily to a guarded guest house near the launch pad accompanied by a burly man who blocked her from reporters.
An official with Russia's space agency, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Chapman was at Baikonur as an adviser to the president of FondServisBank. The bank works with space industry companies and was handing out awards, the official said.
Chapman was one of 10 Russian spies deported from the United States in July. Hergleaned from social-networking sites made her a tabloid sensation.
Last week, a trendy Moscow night club invited the media to a party to meet "the head heroine of the spy scandal of the year, the Russian Mata Hari Anna Chapman." But she did not show.
ALSO ON CRIMESIDER