March 09, 1:59
STAR CITY (Moscow Region), November 29 (Itar-Tass) — The main and backup crews of the next long-term expedition to the International Space Station ISS – MKS-34/35 – have passed the qualifying examination and are ready to fly. The interdepartmental commission made this decision on Thursday, the Cosmonaut Training Centre (CTC) told Itar-Tass.
“The main crew is approved as follows: Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn,” CTC spokeswoman Irina Rogova specified.
On Tuesday and Wednesday Romanenko, Hadfield and Marshburn, as well as their backups demonstrated their skills in the CTC on the mock-ups of the Russian segment of the ISS, and the Soyuz TMA-M manned spacecraft.
During the comprehensive training the astronauts of the main crew not only had to overcome several contingencies on the Soyuz spaceship, but also to fix the oxygen supply system, to solve the problem of overfilling of the onboard toilet facility and eliminate depressurisation of the Russian segment of the ISS.
The commission also confirmed the readiness for flight of the backup crew – Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano and NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg.
The launch of the Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur cosmodrome is scheduled for December 19, it’s docking with the ISS for December 21. The orbital mission of the main crew of ISS Expedition 34/35 will last for about five months.