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11 Oct 2012

Belarusian to head ISS first time ever

Belarusian to head ISS first time ever

MINSK, 11 October (BelTA) – Born in Cherven, Minsk Oblast, Mr Oleg Novitsky will lead the main team that will fly to the International Space Station (ISS) on 23 October, representatives of the Federal Space Agency of Russia (Roscosmos) told BelTA.

Apart from Oleg Novitsky the main team will include cosmonaut Mr Yevgeny Tarelkin and astronaut Mr Kevin Ford. Their doubles are cosmonauts Mr Pavel Vinogradov and Mr Alexander Misurkin and NASA astronaut Mr Christopher Cassidy.

The teams for the 33/34 long-term ISS expedition have arrived at the assembly and testing wing of the space launcher complex Baikonur where their first training in the manned transport vehicle Soyuz TMA-06M has begun.

The cosmonauts will have to get themselves familiar with the standard configuration of the spacecraft. They will check the location of strapped-in equipment that will be delivered to the International Space Station and will test communication and navigation devices. After that the teams will continue pre-launch preparations.

The day before the cosmonauts arrived at the Y.A. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center where they performed a preliminary training and successfully passed tests.

Before Oleg Novitsky only two Belarusians flew into the outer space as space team chiefs. Those are Mr Piotr Klimuk and Mr Vladimir Kovalyonok. It is the first time a Belarusian will command the International Space Station.


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