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BAIKONUR, March 27 (Itar-Tass) - The State Commission at the Baikonur space launch center is to deliver a final verdict on the composition of an international crew of next long-duration expedition to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a Soyuz spaceship that will set out on a journey to orbit on March 29.
A Commisison member told Itar-Tass, "If nothing unforeseen occurs, Russian cosmonauts Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin and American astronaut Christopher Cassidy will set out on the journey aboard the Soyuz TMA-08M spaceship Friday".
Earlier the inter-agency commission estimated the results of the qualification exam of the primary crew as excellent.
Backup pilots Oleg Kotov, Sergei Ryazansky, and Michael Hopkins also demonstrated excellent skills in working on the mockups of the Russian segment of the ISS and the spaceship Soyuz TMA-M.
Following the termination of the flights of US space shuttles last year, the Russian Soyuz spaceship remains the only vehicle for the delivery of crews to the ISS, a Federal Space Agency official recalled.
The Soyuz TMA-08M is scheduled to blast off from Baikonur at 00:43, Moscow time, on March 29. The orbital mission of the ISS 35-36 crew will last more than four months.