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Russia to approve new crew for International Space Station

July 08, 2015, 8:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The main crew is expected to comprise Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui and US astronaut Kjell Norwood Lindgren
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MOSCOW, July 8. /TASS/. A Russian state commission is due to approve on Wednesday the makeup of the main and backup crews of a next mission to the International Space Station (ISS), the Cosmonauts' Training Centre outside Moscow has said.

Russia's Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with the manned Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft is due for lift off from the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan at 2103GMT on July 22.

The main crew is expected to comprise Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui and US astronaut Kjell Norwood Lindgren, while the backup crew will consist of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, US astronaut Timothy Kopra and European Space Agency astronaut Timothy Peake.

It was initially planned that the crew would head to the ISS on May 26. However, the launch was postponed until late July after the April crash of the Progress M27-M cargo ship.

This will be the third flight for veteran Russian cosmonaut Kononenko, 51, who has a cumulative 391 days of experience in space and has conducted three spacewalks.

Japan’s Kimiya Yui is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). This will be the first space flight for the 45-year-old astronaut. Lindgren, 42, is an aerospace medicine physician who also has no experience in space flights.

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