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Russia confirms new crew members for ISS

(Xinhua)

07:52, April 27, 2012

MOSCOW, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Russia's Cosmonaut Training Center (CTC) confirmed Wednesday the three new crew members scheduled to leave for the International Space Station (ISS) on May 15.

They are Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin, and NASA astronaut Joseph Acaba.

The CTC also revealed the backup crew of Russians of Oleg Novitsky and Yevgeny Tarelkin and American Kevin Ford.

Padalka told reporters the new crew would stay in orbit for 126 days. During their duty, the crew would host two manned space vehicles and one cargo space ship.

The cosmonauts would also conduct a spacewalk and 40 scientific experiments, he said.

Also on Wednesday, the ISS was raised by some 4.1 km to an average altitude of 395.3 km, in a bid to create favorable conditions for the upcoming docking on May 15.

The maneuver started at 16:13 Moscow time (1213 GMT) by the boosters of the ISS' European ATV supply spacecraft and lasted 972 seconds.

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