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Russia to switch to year-long expeditions to orbital outpost, says Roscosmos chief

The first cosmonaut to carry out the year-long expedition will become Pyotr Dubrov

MOSCOW, June 16. /TASS/. The length of Russian cosmonauts’ expeditions to the International Space Station (ISS) will be increased, Head of Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said on Wednesday.

"We want to switch over from half-yearly to yearly expeditions. After [Russian cosmonaut] Pyotr Dubrov, other year-long expeditions will follow. This is important," the Roscosmos chief said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily.

Cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov will be a pioneer in a series of flights of this length, Rogozin said. "We are talking about stable operations that will be carried out as part of yearly expeditions. Now this will be placed on a systemic basis with the corresponding system of biomedical researches. Year-long expeditions are what we need," the Roscosmos head stressed.

Then-Head of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center Pavel Vlasov earlier said that two members of the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft, Pyotr Dubrov and Mark Vande Hei, would stay in orbit longer than six months to help shoot a film Vyzov (Challenge). He also said that crew commander Oleg Novitsky would return to Earth in October aboard the Soyuz MS-18’s descend capsule together with the participants of the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft’s flight (actress Yulia Peresild and film director Klim Shipenko who would be engaged in the film). Two crewmembers, cosmonaut Dubrov and NASA astronaut Vande Hei, would remain in orbit and return to Earth aboard the Soyuz MS-19 spaceship, he said.