Yesterday, the crew of the ninth permanent expedition to the ISS finished preflight training in the Star City and passed the final examinations with excellent marks. "Gennady Padalka and Michael Fink had to answer difficult questions at the examination but answered them well, displayed remarkable intelligence and skill in accomplishing the practical assignments, and got excellent marks," the center's representative noted.
According to him, the crew used simulators to practice maneuvering the Soyuz spacecraft in its approach to the ISS in the teleoperator mode, undocking from the station, as well as methods to overcome abnormal situations.
A Chief Designers Council meeting in Energia, a rocket corporation, about launching the Soyuz TMA-4 manned spaceship for its mission to the ISS ended on Tuesday. "The Council under the direction of Yuri Semenov, the general designer and the president of Energia, considered the degree of the readiness of the Soyuz booster rocket and the spaceship and decided to set the launch date for April 19," Vyacheslav Filin, the secretary of the deputy general designer of Energia, said.
The ninth long expedition on the ISS includes Gennady Padalka (Russia) and Michael Fink (United States). Andre Kuipers, an astronaut from the European Space Agency, will go into orbit with them and then return to Earth with Alexander Kaleri and Michael Foale, the crew of the eighth expedition, who are now on the ISS.