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MOSCOW, November 21. /TASS/. The Soyuz-FG vehicle with the Soyuz TMA-15M spaceship attached to it is planning to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) at 11:00 p.m. Moscow time on November 23, Russia’s Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said on Friday.
The launch will be made from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Roscosmos said.
The state commission will meet on November 22 to approve crewmembers of ISS-42/43. The main crew are Russian Anton Shkaplerov, astronauts Samantha Cristoforetti (ESA) and Terry Virts (NASA). Their backups are Russian Oleg Kononenko, astronauts Kimiya Yui (JAXA, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and Kjell Lindgren (NASA). The expedition will last for 169 days, Roscosmos said.
Cristofetti has no space flight experience. Shkaplerov and Virts have already been on a space mission once. The US astronaut flew on NASA’s space shuttle Endeavour. This is his first flight on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft. As for the backups, Kononenko has already had two space flights. This will be the first space flight for the American and Japanese astronauts.