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.
After the incident with the shootdown of the Ilyushin Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, Russia will supply an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Syria