He did not specify for what reasons, organisational, technical or medical, the 52-year-old NASA astronaut, William McArthur, was replaced.
"The details will possibly be announced after the approval of a new crew by the state inter-departmental commission which plans to meet at the end of February," said Korzun.
In his turn, the chief doctor of the Russian Cosmonaut Training Centre, Valery Morgun, said that "there were no medical contraindications for changing the crew." Now the main crew, who will go to the ISS on February 19, consists of Russian Gennady Padalka and American Michael Fincke. Cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov and astronaut Leroy Chiao have become, accordingly, their doublers. Dutchman Andre Kuipers from the European Space Agency will go to the ISS for a week, jointly with Padalka and Fincke.