October 19th, 2006 12:20 EST
NASA Announces New International Space Station Crew
Washington -- NASA and Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, have named two astronauts and two cosmonauts to the next International Space Station crew, designated Expedition 15.
During the 15th long-duration mission to space, which calls for the shuttle to dock with the space station in March 2007 to begin its six-month cycle, crew members will install the third port truss segment, the second starboard truss segment and the third set of solar arrays and batteries.
Astronauts Clayton Anderson and Daniel Tani will travel to the station in 2007 and work as flight engineers. Cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov will spend six months aboard the orbiting laboratory, according to an October 18 NASA press release.
Anderson will get a ride to the station aboard space shuttle Endeavour's STS-118 mission, targeted for launch in June 2007. He will return to Earth on shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-120. That flight will carry his replacement, Tani, to the station. Tani will return on shuttle mission STS-122, targeted for October 2007.
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 scheduled to launch in March 2007.
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.
Anderson was selected to train as an astronaut in 1998 after a technical career in mission operations at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Texas. He managed the Emergency Operations Center at Johnson for several years before becoming an astronaut.
Tani was selected as an astronaut in 1996. His first spaceflight was aboard Endeavour in 2001. During that flight, he performed a four-hour spacewalk.
Yurchikhin visited the space station aboard Atlantis in 2002. He is qualified as a mechanical engineer and has a doctorate in economics. Before he was selected as a cosmonaut, Yurchikhin served as a Russian flight controller and lead engineer for several missions.
Kotov was selected as a cosmonaut in 1996 and has trained for Soyuz, Mir and space station missions. He is a graduate of the Kirov Medical Academy in Russia.
More information about the International Space Station and the upcoming space shuttle missions is available on the NASA Web site.
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)