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Next International Space Station Crew Prepares For Spring Mission

Three new International Space Station crew members will launch on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in May to serve as part of Expeditions 52 and 53.

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NASA photographer Robert Markowitz
Paolo Nespoli, Sergey Ryazansky and Randy Bresnik during emergency scenarios training.

Russia is temporarily reducing its crew complement on the International Space Station as a way of cutting costs and increasing efficiency. That means the ISS crew will now be reduced to five travelers at a time. Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy will be going up in May.

“We will be really busy because there will be only two of us — so some experiments that will be done in my free time. But overall, for technical issues, two Russian crew members will be enough.”

The reduced schedule affects training, as well. NASA’s Randy Bresnik is also part of the next team.

“Three U.S. crew members that were originally slated for the right seat of the Soyuz now have to train for the left seat. And then during the flight we shouldn’t see that much difference other than seeing Sergey and Fyodor a little tired-er than they normally would be on orbit.”

He’s referring to Fyodor Yurchikhin, currently on the ISS.

This new crew will be joined by Italian Paolo Nespoli from the European Space Agency — his third trip to the space station. Bresnik and Ryazanskiy have been twice. Commercial partners SpaceX and Boeing are expected to start launching astronauts to the ISS on their own vehicles in 2018.

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