MOSCOW, February 21 (RIA Novosti) – A state medical commission approved the Russian members Thursday of a new expedition to the International Space Station ahead of the launch on March 26, Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said.
The main crew of Expedition 39/40 comprises Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev as well as NASA astronaut Steven Swanson. The backup crew includes Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyayev and Yelena Serova, and NASA astronaut Christopher Cassidy.
Roscosmos said the commission had found the Russian members of both crews physically fit and ready to carry out the six-month mission on board the ISS.
The new crew will replace members of Expedition 37/38 – Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov, Sergei Ryazansky and NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins – who are expected to return to Earth on March 12.