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Baikonur state committee approves crew of next ISS long-term expedition

December 18, 2012, 10:05 UTC+3

The Soyuz spaceship is to dock with the ISS on December 21

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BAIKONUR (Kazakhstan), December 18 (Itar-Tass) —— The state committee approved the crew of the manned spaceship Soyuz TMA-07M, which will be launched to the International Space Station from the Baikonur spaceport on Wednesday, December 19.

“The ISS crew will consist of Roscosmos cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn,” a representative of the state committee said. However, the backup crew of Fyodor Yurchikhin, Luca Parmitano and Karen Nyberg will be on standby before the launch of the spaceship.

The launch of the launch vehicle Soyuz FG with the manned spaceship Soyuz TMA-07M, which is to deliver the international crew to the ISS, was scheduled at 16:12 Moscow time on Wednesday from the Gagarin launching pad of the Baikonur spaceport. The Soyuz spaceship is to dock with the ISS on December 21.

The pre-launch training program for the main and backup crews was finalized, head of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre Sergei Krikalev said at a meeting of the committee on Tuesday. “The medical examination committee concluded that the crews are completely fit for the space mission,” he said.

For his part, President of the rocket and space corporation Energia Vitaly Lopota noted that the state committee did not make any remarks that hamper further pre-launch operations. “We are ready for the launch,” he noted.

Member of the main crew of a new ISS expedition Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko reported to the state committee that the crew passed the full training course for the launch, the crew is completely ready for the space mission.

The fact that Roman Romanenko’s father Yuri Romanenko together with Georgy Grechko flied to the Soviet orbital station Salyut from the Baikonur spaceport 35 years ago is symbolic, said Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin, who chairs the state committee.


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