MOSCOW, October 25 (Itar-Tass) — A Russian manned spaceship Soyuz will bring a new international long-duration expedition crew to the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday. The crew are then to perform a number of scientific researches, receive a commercial resupply spacecraft in orbit, and maintain the Station's serviceability.
"The spaceship Soyuz TMA-06M, which blasted off from Baikonur on Tuesday, will deliver Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Yevgeny Tarelkin, and NASA astronaut Kevin Ford to the ISS," an official at the Mission Control Center (MCC) told Itar-Tass.
The spaceship is to dock with the Station at 16:35, Moscow time. The docking operation is to be carried out in an automatic mode, the MCC official recalled. "If necessary, the control of the spaceship will be assumed by Soyuz crew commander Oleg Novitsky," the official pointed out.
Russian cosmonaut Yuri Melnichenko, NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, and astronaut Akihiko Hoshide of the Japanese space agency JAXA are looking forward to the spaceship's arrival.
The docking of the spaceship with the ISS will be monitored by the same aircraft and means that were used during the October 23 launch. About 20 aircraft and helicopters will be based along the spaceship's entire flight path.
Under an international agreement, in the event of an unconventional situation, the crew is to be given first asistance by the rescue specialists of country in the territory of which a descent capsule would land. The cosmonauts and the capsule are then to be brought back to Russia.