BAIKONUR, March 24, /ITAR-TASS/. The State Commission is to announce here on Monday a final decision on the make-up of the crew for next long-duration ISS 39/40 expedition that will set out from here on a journey to the International Space Station on March 26.
"If nothing unforeseen happens, the Soyuz TMA-12M will be manned by Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev and American astronaut Steve Swanson," an official in the press servic of the Roscosmos (Federal Space Agency) told Itar-Tass.
The orbital mission of the ISS 39/40 crew will last about five months.
At the beginning of this month, an inter-agency commission positively assessed the results of the qualification exam of the primary and backup crews and confirmed their complete readiness for the space mission. During the four-day comprehensive examination training sessions, the cosmonauts and astronauts demonstrated their skills in the Zvyozdny Gorodok (Star City) by means of the mockups of the Russian segment of the ISS and a Soyuz TMA-M spaceship.
Following the termination of the flights of American space shuttles, the Russian spaceship Soyuz remains the only vehicle for delivery of space crews to the ISS, the Roscosmos official recalled.
The spaceship Soyuz TMA-12M is to be launched at 01:17, Moscow time, on March 26.