ZHUKOVSKY/Moscow Region/, August 26. /TASS/. An open competition will be held in spring next year to select up to eight future members of the Russian cosmonaut team, the head of Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center outside Moscow told reporters on Wednesday.
"The new recruitment will be held in spring 2016. We hope to select seven or eight people in addition to those who were chosen after the previous competition," Yuri Lonchakov said at the MAKS-2015 international air show near Moscow.
"This number is needed taking into consideration that the International Space Station will work until 2024," he stressed.
In reply to a question whether women can participate in the competition, the head of the center said this is possible if they wish to.
Russia’s first open competition to select the cosmonaut team members was held in 2012. Eight candidates, who were chosen as cosmonaut-testers, underwent training for more than 18 months. Seven of them were qualified as cosmonaut-testers after a state exam.