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    NEW ISS CREW TO CHECK NEW SPACESUITS FOR RELIABILITY

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    MOSCOW, APRIL 5. /RIA NOVOSTI / -- Commander of the eighth expedition to the International Space Station Michael Foale and flight engineer Alexander Kaleri have tried on the new spacesuits in which their successors will spacewalk. This was said on Monday by Sergei Puzanov, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration coordinator for public relations.

    "The new Russian spacesuits Orlan-M, earlier brought in to the ISS by the Progress space truck, have been checked", he said. He added that Foale and Kaleri had not entered the spacesuits but only linked them to the required systems.

    The Orlan spacesuits will be checked for reliability by the next crew of Gennadi Padalka of Russia and his partner Edward M.Fincke of the United States. Their blast-off towards the ISS together with European astronaut Andre Kuipers of The Netherlands /he is in the ten-day visiting expedition/ is scheduled for April 19.

    On the flight programme of the ninth expedition to the ISS are two spacewalks, in 2004 July and August, respectively.

    The Orlan-M spacesuit is not "put on" but "entered into" from behind through the hatch. On the back lies the independent life-support system, which is simultaneously the air-tight lid of the access hatch. It is designed to have its replaceable elements and units replaced and its temperature-control system filled with water. The first spacewalk in the Orlan-M spacesuits was made on April 29, 1997 by the crew of Vasili Tsibliev and Jerry Linenger from the Mir station.

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