BAIKONUR, November 22 (Sputnik) — The state commission at Baikonur Cosmodrome has approved the new International Space Station (ISS) crew, a Roscosmos (Russian Space Agency) representative told RIA Novosti Saturday.
"Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, a European Space Agency's astronaut and the ISS flight engineer Samantha Cristoforetti, as well as NASA astronaut and the leader of the new ISS-43 expedition Terry Virts will fly into orbit. The launch is scheduled for November 24 at 00:01 Moscow time (21:01 GMT)," the source stated.
According to the Russian Space Agency, the launch will be administered from the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site number 31, from where Progress cargo spacecraft usually depart.
The new crew has already undergone docking training on the ISS simulators and confirmed spacesuit pressure integrity by performing a leak check.
Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft, with three cosmonauts on board, is scheduled to dock to ISS on November 24 at 05:53 Moscow time (02:53 GMT). The crew are scheduled to spend 169 days in orbit.