Russian cosmonaut Yury Yurchihin and U.S. astronauts Douglas Wheelock and Shannon Walker were confirmed on Monday as the crew for the next half-year mission on the International Space Station.
They will join Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Korniyenko, and U.S. astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, restoring the station to its full complement of six crew members.
The rocket carrying the Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft to the orbiter was moved to the launch pad at the Baikonur Space Station in Kazakhstan on Sunday ahead of the launch, scheduled for 21:35 GMT on Tuesday (01:35 Wednesday Moscow time).
The backup crew of Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev, ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli and NASA astronaut Catherine Coleman will remain on Earth. The three will be launched to the space station on TMA-21 in December, when they will replace Yurchihin, Wheelock and Walker.
The ISS orbit was raised by 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) on June 8 to ensure the best conditions for the docking of the Soyuz TMA-19.
The TMA-19 mission will be the 106th flight of a Soyuz spacecraft since the start of the program in 1967.
BAIKONUR SPACE CENTER, June 13 (RIA Novosti)