BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan, September 24 /ITAR-TASS/. A new Soyuz crew will take a plushy toy tiger cub Mur, a new character of a popular Russian children’s TV programme “Good Night, Little Ones!” and its toy pal - the Far Eastern leopard-to the International Space Station /ISS/ as part of an action to call public attention to rare species.
A new ISS crew whose composition was approved by a state commission earlier on Wednesday is to take off from Baikonur on September 26. For the first time in ten years, the crew will comprise a woman - Elena Serova. The ISS expedition will last for 168 days.
“On the eve of the International Tiger Day, Roskosmos has decided to support an environmental action designed to call public attention to rare species. The Amur tiger cub named Mur and a far eastern leopard will fly to the International Space Station,” Yuri Lonchakov, the head of the space training center, said.
In addition to that, the crew, comprising Alexander Samokutayev, Elena Serova and Barry Wilmore, will take a flask with water taken from the River Kazanka in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, in honor of the 16th FINA World Championship in aquatics to be hosted by Kazan in 2015.
The crew of Maxim Surayev which the new ISS expedition in going to replace will return the flask with water back to Earth. The ‘space’ water will later be handed over to a museum.