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ISS Crew Size Could Be Doubled By 2009

The ISS is set to get even more crowded.
by Staff Writers
Moscow (RIA Novosti) May 14, 2007
Crews on the International Space Station will be increased from the current number of three up to six people by 2009, a senior official with the Russian Space Agency said Friday. "ISS crews will be increased to six people by 2009 and the station will go into full operation," Alexei Krasnov, the head of the agency's department for manned flights, said at the welcome ceremony for the 14th ISS crew.

The crew returned to Earth April 21 after seven months onboard the ISS. Apart from Russian Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin and Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria from the United States, the 14th crew also includes the fifth space tourist and software billionaire, Hungarian-born American Charles Simonyi.

The current ISS crew consists of Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov, both from Russia, who will spend 189 days at the station and will conduct three spacewalks, one in U.S.-made spacesuits and the other two in Russian-made outfits.

The third crewmember, U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams, who replaced the European Space Agency's German astronaut Thomas Reiter in December 2006, will stay on board the ISS for a further several months.

They will later be joined by astronaut Clayton Anderson, who will arrive on board the space shuttle Endeavor June 28, and Daniel Tani, who will be carried to the ISS by the space shuttle Discovery, scheduled for lift off September 7.

American space mission commander praises space tourists 16:38 | 11/ 05/ 2007

ZVEZDNY GORODOK (Moscow Region), May 11 (RIA Novosti) - The American commander of Expedition 14 to the International Space Station, called space tourism "a good idea" as his crew returned to the base near Moscow Friday.

Michael Lopez-Alegria acknowledged he changed his originally negative attitude to space tourists when he saw how two of them - Iranian-born Anousheh Ansari, a U.S. businesswoman, and Hungarian-born Charles Simonyi, a founder of Microsoft Corp. - who went to the ISS as space tourists adapted to space conditions and helped crewmembers in their work.

Lopez-Alegria, Simonyi, Russian flight engineer Mikhail Tyurin and German European astronaut Thomas Reiter shared their experiences from the mission.

Simonyi, the fifth space tourist in history, said his space-themed Web site had generated over 30 million visitors and added he was happy to let people learn more about the station and the Russian space industry.

The U.S.-based Space Adventures Ltd., the only company currently providing opportunities for space tourism, charges around $20 million per Russian-organized private mission.

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration had previously voiced concerns about the tourists' safety and usefulness.

Source: RIA Novosti

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Kazakh Cosmonauts To Complete Training By Year End As Another Progress Rolls Out
Astana, Kazakhstan (RIA Novosti) May 11, 2007
Two Kazakh cosmonauts will complete a training course before the year end, but a date for their flight to the International Space Station has not been fixed, the head of Russia's space agency said Thursday. Anatoly Perminov, the general director of the Federal Space Agency who is accompanying President Vladimir Putin on a visit to the Central Asian state dominated by crucial energy projects, said: "The training of the Kazakh cosmonauts, which is being conducted free of charge, will be completed this year."

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