If the U.S. resumes Shuttle exploitation, the crew will assist their docking, too. The spacemen will keep the station going, venture into open space out of its Pier docking unit, and make many research experiments-huge chores. The ISS schedule includes a big applied research program, and contract commercial assignments, RIA Novosti's interlocutor went on.
Yuri Shargin, the first to represent the Russian Space Troops at the ISS, who is at the station for a shorter mission, will stage several experiments on the ISS 10 research program, photograph other experiments, and make their video footage.
Sharipov and Chiao will have a no usual job-to make snapshots of the word PEACE a Russian Antarctic expedition will make on the snow of ten thousand multicolored balloons.
Expedition preparations are coming to an end. Shortly to venture out, the crew includes not only Air Force pilots, parachute jumpers, equipment testers and spacemen-all top-notch experts, but fourteen children from all parts of Russia, selected in an on-line competition, says Alexander Begak, expedition supervisor.
The kids will not only arrange the balloons but make field research to track down major meteorite fragments.
The expedition will take start from Moscow some day after December 20 and, most probably, will see New Year in near the South Pole, in the most exotic of surroundings.
There are two space celebrities on the Antarctic crew. Valery Korzun long worked at the Mir and International space stations, and Valery Trunov is chief of survival drill at the Yuri Gagarin Space Pilot Training Center, based near Moscow, added Mr. Begak.