ZVYOZDNY GORODOK /Moscow Region/, February 22. /TASS/. The Interagency Commission at a meeting of the Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center recommended the main and backup crews for a new mission to the International Space Station, the center’s press service told TASS on Thursday.
"The Interagency Commission recommended the crews to continue flight preparations at the Baikonur Cosmodrome," the Center said.
The main crew for a Soyuz MS-08 features Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, NASA astronauts Andrew Feustel and Richard Arnold. The backup crew includes Alexey Ovchinin (Roscosmos) and Nick Hague (NASA). The final crew compositions will be given the go-ahead by the state commission at Baikonur a day before the launch which is scheduled for March 21.
The meeting of the Interagency Commission was held after a two-day review session. The cosmonauts handled all training contingency situations operating precise copies of the Russian ISS segment and the Soyuz MS spacecraft. The medical commission also recognized them as qualified for flight.
Artemyev will make his second voyage to the ISS, Feustel will go there for the third time and Arnold for the second time. As for the backup crew, Ovchinin already made one flight to the ICC, and Hague has no space flight experience yet.
The new ISS mission will fly to the station aboard a Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft on March 21 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.