On Friday, October 11, an interdepartmental commission will approve the make-up for a visiting crew of the International Space Station. Its will blast off towards the ISS on October 28 from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Valery Lyndin in charge of the press service of the Russian Mission Control Center reports on Monday.
The main visiting crew is expected to be made up of commander Sergei Zaletin of Russia, flight engineers Belgian Frank de Winne of the European Space Agency and Yuri Lonchakov of Russia.
So far, Lonchakov is head of the stand-by crew. The Russian Space Agency, Rosaviakosmos, is pondering his entry in the main make-up to take the third chair in the manned Soyuz spaceship instead of the dismissed space tourist Lance Bass, American pop-singer. Bass has failed to meet the contractual terms of financing his mission.
"The visiting crew will stay aboard the ISS for about a week, staging experiments and bringing another craft to the ISS. They will get back to Earth in a Soyuz which is now at the station and whose service life is drawing to an end. It is a "lifeboat" for the ISS in case of emergency evacuation of the fifth live-in expedition", specified Lyndin.