The program of the next expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), whose crew is completing preparations for the mission at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Zvyozdny Gorodok (Star City) in the Moscow region, may be amended in light of the failed launch of the Progress M-27M cargo spacecraft on April 28, the center reports.
"The flight program of the ISS expedition preparing for the mission may be adjusted depending on possible postponements of the dates of launches of cargo spacecraft and amendments to the ISS flight program," says a press release circulated on Wednesday on the occasion of the start of a two-day examination session of the crew preparing to fly to the ISS.
"The prime crew - Oleg Kononenko (Russia), Yui Kimiya (Japan), and Kjell Lindgren (United States) - is undergoing examination training on the simulator of the Russian segment of the ISS. Instructors have set a number of emergency tasks that the cosmonauts will have to solve," a Cosmonaut Training Center spokesperson said on Wednesday.
Simultaneously with the prime crew, the backup crew including Yury Malenchenko, Timothy Kopra and Timothy Peake is also taking exams. In particular, they are practicing on a Soyuz TMA-M manned spacecraft simulator and being tested for emergency situations.
On Thursday, the prime crew will be tested on the Soyuz TMA-M spacecraft and the backup crew on the simulator of the Russian segment of the ISS.
The crew is scheduled to go to space aboard a Soyuz TMA-M on May 26 to spend 163 days in orbit. Anton Shkaplerov (Roscosmos), Samantha Cristoforetti (European Space Agency), and Terry Virts (NASA) are to return from the ISS to earth on May 14, while Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Korniyenko (both Roscosmos) and Scott Kelly (NASA) will remain on board the station.
A space industry source had told Interfax-AVN earlier that the launch of the crew to the ISS from the Baikonur space center originally set for May 26 could be postponed pending an investigation into the failed launch of the Progress M-27M cargo spacecraft on April 28.
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