The composition of the “emergency crew” of the Mir space station changed. This may not be related to yesterday’s trouble

The inter-department commission has changed the composition of the so-called “emergency crew” – it is supposed to fly to the Mir in case it fails to be deorbited and sunk remote-controlled. The crew included Salizhan Sharipov, and Pavel Vinogradov. They are now to be replaced by Gennadi Padalka (the captain) and Nikolai Budarin (flight engineer). Mr. Sharipov is said to be very much disappointed by this move seeing no reasons for changing the crew. The cosmonaut also says Messrs. Padalka and Budarin have not been preparing for any flight over the last several months, and they will have to start again from scratch, Itar-TASS reports. Mr. Sharipov does not know which flight he and Mr. Vinogradov are now intended to embark on, although their “emergency crew” doubles (Talgat Musabayev and Yuri Baturin) are already lining up to fly to an international space station. In the meantime, officials at the Russian Space Agency have told that the “emergency crew” was not readied for the flight over yesterday’s troubles aboard the Mir. “Until we had sorted it all out, any flight to the station was out of the question,” the officials have said.

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