June 1, 2010

Crew Ready For Space Station Trip

A U.S.-Russian space crew who initially flunked one of their tests said they are now ready for their mission to the International Space Station.

NASA astronauts Doug Wheelock and Shannon Walker and Russian commander Fyodor Yurchikhin told reporters Monday that they will launch June 16 from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and aim for the ISS aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Yurchikhin said they had to re-take an equipment test twice after a failure, but said the problem demonstrated the crew's spirit.

"I realize that it is completely my responsibility for all that problems we faced during our exam," he said, assuring reporters the team was a real crew.

The team will join Russians Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko and U.S. astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, who are scheduled to return to Earth Wednesday.

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