NASA announces Expedition 15 ISS crew

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- NASA and the Russian Federal Space Agency have named two astronauts and two cosmonauts to the next International Space Station crew.

Astronauts Clayton Anderson and Daniel Tani will travel to the station next year and work as flight engineers. Cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov will spend six months aboard the orbiting laboratory.


Anderson will journey to the station aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour's STS-118 mission, targeted for launch next June. He will return to Earth on shuttle Atlantis during mission STS-120. That flight will carry his replacement, Tani, to the station. Tani will return on shuttle mission STS-122, scheduled for October 2007.

NASA said Yurchikhin will command Expedition 15, and Kotov will serve as station flight engineer and Soyuz commander. Yurchikhin and Kotov will fly to the complex aboard a Soyuz spacecraft to launch in March. Until Anderson arrives, astronaut Sunita Williams will serve as Expedition 15's third crew member and flight engineer. She will fly to the station on STS-116 in December.

The Expedition 15 backup crew members are astronaut Gregory Chamitoff for Anderson, Sandra Magnus for Tani, and Russian cosmonauts Roman Romanenko and Mikhail Kornienko for Yurchikhin and Kotov.


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