Next ISS Crew, Space Tourist Prepare for Orbital Flight

Next ISS Crew, Space Tourist Prepare for Orbital Flight
By Tariq Malik
Staff Writer
posted: 6 January 2007
12:30 p.m. ET

Two NASA astronauts and the next space tourist are bound for Russia to prepare for 15th expedition to the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA astronauts Daniel Tani and Clayton Anderson will head to Russia’s Star City cosmonaut training center this weekend to join their ISS Expedition 15 commander Fyodor Yurchikin and fellow flight engineer Oleg Kotov, NASA officials said Friday.

“Our goal is to assemble the ISS and outfit it with all the elements we have planed,” Yurchikin, commander of the Expedition 15 mission, said in a recent mission press briefing. “We hope to do a good job.”

U.S. entrepreneur Charles Simonyi, who is poised to become the fifth tourist to visit the ISS, will also make his way to Star City for final training next week, Erin Lundberg, a spokesperson for the Virginia-based firm Space Adventures that arranged Simonyi’s flight, told Friday.

Initially slated for a March 9 space shot, Simonyi and the Expedition 15 crew are now set to lift off on April 9, NASA spokesperson Lynette Madison, of the agency’s Johnson Space Center, told The mission will wait until after the planned March 16 liftoff of NASA’s STS-117 mission to deliver new solar arrays to the ISS.

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