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Russia to launch Soyuz spacecraft to ISS on Sept 30

The International Space Station.

MOSCOW (BNS): Russia, all set to launch its Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft on board a Soyuz-FG rocket to the International Space Station on September 30, has announced the composition of main and backup crews for the mission.

While Russian cosmonaut Maxim Surayev and US astronaut Jeff Williams will be the main crew, Alexander Skvortsov (Russia) and Shannon Walker (US) will be the backup crew for the mission.

Besides, Guy Laliberte, founder and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, and Barbara Barrett, a US businesswoman and former US ambassador to Finland, will join the team as space tourists, Russian news agency Ria Novosti reported on Thursday.

The mission will be launched from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan.

TMA-16 will be the 103rd flight in a Soyuz spacecraft since 1967. The spacecraft will most likely remain docked with the space station for the remainder of the Expedition 22 mission to serve as an emergency escape vehicle, the report said.

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