Sunday, February 24, 2019

Russia’s State Commission Recommends Next Space Crew for Flight to ISS

At the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, Expedition 59 crew members Christina Koch of NASA (left), Nick Hague of NASA (center) and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos (right) listen to reporters’ questions Feb. 21 during a pre-launch news conference. They will launch March 14, U.S. time, on the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for a six-and-a-half month mission on the International Space Station. Credit: Andrey Shelepin/Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center

Russia’s inter-departmental commission recommended at its session at the Cosmonaut Training Center to approve the basic and back-up crews of a new expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), the Center’s press office told TASS on Thursday.

"The inter-departmental commission has recommended the crews for the continuation of the pre-flight preparation at the Baikonur Cosmodrome," the Cosmonaut Training Center said.

The Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft’s basic crew includes cosmonaut of Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos Alexei Ovchinin and NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch. The back-up crew comprises Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, astronaut of the European Space Agency (ESA) Luca Parmitano and NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan.

The crews will be finally approved by the state commission at the Baikonur spaceport several days before the launch.

Currently, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA astronaut Anne McClain and astronaut of the Canadian Space Agency David Saint-Jacques are working aboard the world’s sole orbiter.

Ovchinin and Hague were expected to arrive at the orbital outpost back in October 2018 but their expedition was foiled by the abortive launch of the Soyuz-FG carrier rocket on October 11.

Credit: TASS

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