Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev and NASA Astronaut John
Phillips will be ISS-11 crew
The new International Space Station crew that will take over
from the ISS-10 crew in April has been picked. Russian Cosmonaut
Sergei Krikalev and NASA Astronaut John Phillips have been selected
as the next replacement crew for the station. The announcement was
made by Russian space agency spokesperson Vyacheslav Davidenko.
According to Davidenko, both the crew members have already
visited the station as crew. They will be launched to the station
on a Soyuz spacecraft to take over from Russian Salizhan Sharipov
and American Leroy Chiao. The current crew has been manning the
station since October 16.
Davidenko told the Associated Press that the Russian Space
Agency will be signing a contract with the European Space Agency
very soon to send an Italian astronaut to the station, Roberto
Vittori. Assuming the contract is signed, Vittori will be the third
crew member in the Soyuz spacecraft, and will spend 10 days on the
RKK Energia also announced on Tuesday that they will be sending
a manned space shuttle to the station sometime between 2010 and
2012. The exact date of the launch will depend on funding of the
mission. The US expects to resume Space Shuttle flights in May.