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Russia picked main crew for next ISS expedition

A state commission has established the crew of the manned Soyuz MS-16" ship, which will be launched tomorrow towards the International Space Station (ISS) amid the new coronavirus pandemic, TASS reported.
On the main crew are Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Wagner, and NASA astronaut Christopher Cassidy.

In the duplicate crew are Russian cosmonauts Sergei Ryzhikov and Andrei Babkin, and US astronaut Stephen Bowen, reports BTA.

They spent a month in quarantine.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, crew members gave up a number of tarditions. They did not visit the Kremlin wall in Moscow, nor did Sergei Korolyov's home. A traditional press conference before their take-off for Baikonur was also cancelled. Their families will also not be allowed to the spaceport.

Launch of a manned Soyuz ship to the ISS is scheduled for tomorrow, April 9 at 11.05 Moscow and Bulgarian time. For the first time it will be done with the Soyuz-2.1a rocket, which is replacing the decommissioned Soyuz-FG. The docking with the station is scheduled for 5.16 Moscow time.

On the ISS are now Russian Oleg Skripochka and Americans Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan. Their return to Earth is planned for April 17.

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