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New ISS crew begins pre-flight exams

RIA Novosti

03:30 24/11/2010

MOSCOW, November 24 (RIA Novosti) - The main and the back-up crews of the next mission to the International Space Station (ISS) will begin two-day pre-flight exams on Wednesday, a Russian space official said.

The main crew comprises Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyiev, Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli and U.S. astronaut Catherine Coleman. Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa and U.S. astronaut Michael Fossum are on the reserve crew.

Both crews will attempt to pass exams, simulating emergency situations on board the ISS and the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

A special commission will issue the final approval of the crew following the results of the tests.

The launch of the Soyuz TMA-20 piloted spacecraft with the new ISS crew has been postponed from December 13 to December 15 because the TMA-20 landing capsule was damaged while being transported to the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan.

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