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Moscow (Voice of Russia) Jun 03, 2014
Preparations for the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft flight, which will carry the new crew to the International Space Station (ISS), including Russian female member Yelena Serova, have started at Baikonur. "Launch of Soyuz TMA-14M is planned for September 25, 2014. Three crew members of Expedition ISS-41/42 will travel to ISS.
There will be two Russian crew members - Aleksandr Samokutyayev and Yelena Serova, and an American Barry E. Wilmore," reported Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos. Yelena Serova will become the first female astronaut after a long pause and the fourth in history Russian female astronaut. Yelena Serova was born in the Russian Far East in 1976 and is married to a former astronaut Mark Serov.
She was selected for a future mission in 2006. Among the current candidates to become astronauts there's another woman, Anna Kikina. During more than half a century of human space exploration three female Russians managed to become astronauts.
Valentina Tereshkova became the first in the world female astronaut. Svetlana Savitskaya flew to the orbit twice and became the first woman in the world to perform a spacewalk. Yelena Kondakova also made two trips to space and spent 178 days in zero G.
Russia is currently the only ISS participant that provides change of crews on the station and carries most deliveries to ISS. Every Soyuz can get a crew of three members to ISS.
After docking Soyuz spacecraft is used as emergency escape vehicle at ISS, then Soyuz undocks and its reentry vehicle brings astronauts back to Earth. Cargo spacecraft provides ISS with fuel, delivers scientific equipment and shipments for astronauts. Each cargo spacecraft carries more than 2.5 tons.
Source: Voice of Russia
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