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19:20 GMT +3 hours21 December 2014
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Soyuz crew confirmed ready for launch to ISS

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Russia's Federal Space Agency gave final approval on Thursday to the crew of the next expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), which will be launched on Friday.

Russia's Federal Space Agency gave final approval on Thursday to the crew of the next expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), which will be launched on Friday.

Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Korniyenko and U.S. astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson are scheduled to take off from the Baikonur space center at 08:04 Moscow time (04:04 GMT) on Friday.

Their reserves - Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokutayev, Andrei Borisenko and NASA astronaut Scott Kelly - will remain on the ground.

The Soyuz TMA-18 spacecraft will dock with the ISS on Sunday, where the crew will join Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov, U.S. astronaut Timothy Creamer, and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi.

BAIKONUR (Kazakhstan), April 1 (RIA Novosti)