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BAIKONUR (Kazakhstan), September 1. /TASS/. The state commission at the Baikonur cosmodrome has approved the crew of another expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), the press service of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) told TASS on Tuesday.
"The approved main crew comprises Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andreas Mogensen and Kazakhstan’s cosmonaut Aidyn Aimbetov," a Roscosmos representative said.
The backup crew consists of Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Sergey Prokopyev, as well as ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet (France).
The Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with the Soyuz TMA-18M manned spacecraft is to be launched at 07:37 am, Moscow time on September 2. In two days after the blast-off - at 10:42 am, Moscow time on September 4, the ship will dock to the ISS. It had been initially planned to launch the spacecraft under a short-cut scheme and dock in to the station in 6 hours after the blast-off, but for safety considerations in was decided to use a two-day flight pattern for the Soyuz.
Volkov will make his third space voyage, and Mogensen and Aimbetov will fly to the ISS for the first time.
The current crew of the International Space Station comprises Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka, Mikhail Korniyenko and Oleg Kononenko, US astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren and Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui.