MOSCOW, February 19. /TASS/. Russia’s state-run space corporation Roscosmos is looking into the possibility of sending the backup crew instead of the main one for the April 9 mission to the International Space Station (ISS), Executive Director for Manned Flights at the State Space Corporation Roscosmos Sergei Krikalyov told reporters on Wednesday.
"Apparently, the [main crew] will be replaced with the backup crew, because one of the main crew members is temporarily unfit for the task," he said.
He did not reveal the name of the crew member, but said he was Russian.
Roscosmos plans to discuss the matter with the US side.
The next ISS expedition will be launched on board the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on April 9, 2020. The main crew comprises Russian cosmonauts Nikolai Tikhonov and Andrei Babkin and US astronaut Chris Cassidy. They are supposed to join Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, who continues to work on board the ISS together with NASA astronauts Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir.
The backup crew for the mission comprises Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, and US astronaut Stephen Bowen.
For the first time ever, the spacecraft will be launched atop the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket.