A new crew has been carried to the International Space Station as a result of close co-operation of Russian and U.S. experts. This idea was expressed in the speeches made by the representatives of the Russian Aviation and Space Agency (Rosaviakosmos) and the American NASA at the press conference held Monday in the Russian Mission Control Centre after the Russian Soyuz spaceship with the seventh replaceable crew on board docked with the ISS.
The new crew comprising two spacemen from Russia and the U.S., are to conduct extensive scientific work, which is important for understanding the specifics of man's life in space conditions, Nikolai Moiseyev, one of Rosaviakosmos leaders, said. No work on the ISS surface in the forthcoming six-month flight has been planned for the seventh expedition.
The U.S. participants in the press conference noted a high level of the work performed by the ISS expeditions and of Russia-U.S. co-operation.
The Russian side, however, drew the partners' attention to the need for U.S. participation in funding the manufacture of additional Russian spaceships for servicing the ISS.
It was announced at the press conference that the sixth ISS expedition, which has worked at the station for about six months, will leave it on May 4. The flight of the next, the eighth, expedition is slated for October. The next crew will consist of Russian cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri and U.S. astronaut Michael Foale. A spaceman of the European Space Agency (ESA), Pedro Duque, a native of Spain, will fly to the station with them. He is to spend a week at the ISS. His flight will be paid for to Russia by ESA.