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Moscow (XNA) Sep 27, 2012
A crew of three all-novice members would be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) in October, Russia's Cosmonauts Training Center said Tuesday.
The crew, consisting of Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky, Yevgeny Tarelkin and U.S. astronaut Kevin Ford, is expected to stay at the ISS for five months.
It is rare to see that none of the three crew members have real experience in piloting the Soyuz spacecraft, nor have they ever participated in ISS missions.
For the two Russian cosmonauts, the upcoming mission will be their first space flight, while Ford has flown to space once for a 14-day expedition in 2009.
The launch of the next manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-06M to the ISS was slated for Oct. 23 at the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. The launch was postponed from an initial date of Oct. 15 due to technical problems.
After the retirement of the U.S. shuttle fleet, Russia's Soyuz spacecraft is the only way for astronauts to reach the ISS at least until 2015.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
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