BAIKONUR (Kazakhstan), June 5. /TASS/. The state commission at the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan has approved the crew of a new expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos told TASS on Tuesday.
"The basic crew comprises Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev, NASA astronaut Serena Aunon and representative of the European Space Agency Alexander Gerst (Germany)," Roscosmos said.
A Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft with the new crew is expected to blast off from the Baikonur spaceport towards the International Space Station at 2:12 p.m. Moscow time on June 6. The spacecraft is scheduled to dock with the orbital outpost at 4:07 p.m. Moscow time on June 8.
On June 3, the descent capsule of the Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft with three crewmembers of the International Space Station landed near the town of Zhezkazgan in Kazakhstan, Russia’s Flight Control Center reported.
"Landing accomplished. The descent capsule with Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, NASA astronaut Scott Tingle and astronaut of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Norishige Kanai made a landing at 3:39 p.m. Moscow time," the Flight Control Center said.
Russian cosmonaut Shkaplerov delivered back to Earth a ball, which is planned to be used during the opening game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow. The ball was brought to the ISS by the crew of the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft in March.
Russian cosmonauts Shkaplerov and Oleg Artemyev tested the official ball of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, called Telstar 18, during an improvised football match aboard the International Space Station on May 31.