STAR CITY /Moscow Region/, February 26. /TASS/. A new space crew scheduled to go to the International Space Station (ISS) in mid-March will hold about 50 experiments in orbit, basic crew commander Alexei Ovchinin said in Friday.
"A large number of experiments, about 50, are planned during our expedition," the cosmonaut said.
The experiments will involve research in medicine, biology and biotechnology, video footage of life on the ISS, and also "experiments for educational purposes," Ovchinin said.
"We’ll perform a quick shift, the so-called movement of fluid in the body. We’ll be doing blood sampling and ultrasound scanning of various organs," the cosmonaut said.
These experiments will be held at the start and the end of the expedition to enable doctors to compare the body’s parameters during the flight to the orbit, he added.
According to Alexei Ovchinin, the crew will take photos and letters of relatives and the Bible for the flight.
‘I’ll take photos of nears and dears and I have also requested my family to write me letters, which I’ll open already there, at the station… I believe this will support me during the flight," he said.
In turn, ISS board engineer Oleg Skripochka said he had decided to take a pair of photos of his family together with him to the world’s sole orbiter.
"I believe this time we’ll confine ourselves to a pair of photos of the trips with the family. Of course, when you are in outer space and miss your family, this helps a lot," the cosmonaut said.
Second board engineer, NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams said he would take belongings of this family and photos of his relatives, as well as the Bible to the International Space Station.
The expedition 47/48 to the world’s sole orbiter aboard the Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft is scheduled to start on March 19.
The new expedition’s basic crew comprises Russian cosmonauts Alexei Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka and also US astronaut Jeffrey Williams Their back-up members are Sergei Ryzhikov and Andrei Borisenko from Russia, and also Robert Kimbrough from the United States. The flight will be the first for Ovchinin in his career and the second for Skripochka while Williams will perform already his fourth flight.