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Cosmonaut news: 2006

News of the Cosmonaut Group, Отряд Космонавтов, for 2006.

January

27/1

From Novosti Kosmonavtiki news №529:

Future cosmonauts learn to survive in freezing weather in the Moscow forests

Future space crews are learning to survive in winter in an unknown locality in the Moscow area, Yurii Gidzenko, the representative of the cosmonauts training center (TsPK, Zvezdni Gorodok, Moscow region), told Interfaks on Thursday.

“The planned training of the actions of crews in case of a non-standard landing of the descent vehicle in winter in the marshy and wooded country continues. Yesterday the first crew, composed of two Russian cosmonauts and one U.S. astronaut, completed the accomplishment of their mission. Today the second group began training,” said Gidzenko, who leads control of special specific preparations at TsPK.

He explained that this training has its place in the space training program in the event, if after landing in a non-standard region, the crew is not immediately rescued by search and rescue forces, but after an extended period of time.

“Therefore the cosmonauts must know how to survive during the 2-3 days, using the emergency supplies kit [NAZ, the emergency supplies equipment, is stored in the Soyuz descent vehicle], means of improvisation, parachute, trees, fallen trees”, explained Gidzenko.

He explained that the first crew was comprised of novices Romanenko, Mikhail Korniyenko, and also American astronaut Garrett Reysman. During three days and two nights, after quickly setting up camp, they waited until the arrival of the search and rescue group.

“Today Maksim Surayev, and also American astronauts Nicole Stott and Timothy Kopra began the training course. In three days U.S. astronauts Michael Barreta and Sandra Magnus, and also Oleg Artem’ev, will begin the same testing in the winter scaffolding,” reported Gidzenko.

According to him, the management TsPK did not intend to postpone the planned training of cosmonauts because of the strong frost in the Moscow region, despite the fact that two women are in groups – Americans Stott and Magnus.

“In our time we conducted such trainings in the environs of Vorkuta at a temperature of minus 40 degrees,” said Gidzenko.

According to him, the more difficult the conditions during training, the easier it will be for cosmonauts to cope in a real situation, if it suddenly happens.

According to Gidzenko, in the course of training the crew members, after exiting the descent vehicle, remove their spacesuits and put on heatproof suits. “Then they select a place for the camp, make shelter and light a signal bonfire for the rescue helicopter”, said Gidzenko.

According to him, not one of the cosmonauts who completed training was frozen. “The entire training is under the control of the test brigade, of which the physicians are part of, and who are teamed with the cosmonauts and monitor them constantly,” explained the TsPK representative.

He reported that at the disposal of cosmonauts were improved heatproofed (thermal) suits, which make it possible to endure low temperatures for a long time. “Although they are without electric heating, high quality swan’s down is used in their production as well as sintepon (polyester filling) with vacuum padding,” explained Gidzenko.

He also reported that at the disposal of cosmonauts during survival training is a large machete-knife and a unique signaling-hunting three-barreled pistol. This is a pistol produced by Tula. Two upper barrels are calculated for the hunting cartridge for small and large game, and the lower is grooved, under the cartridge of a caliber of 5.45 mm. The machete-knife can be used as a butt for the pistol,” explained Gidzenko.

It might be remembered that in the history of Russian manned cosmonautics there were cases involving searches for cosmonauts after their return from space. In particular, writes the site NEWSru.com, this occurred in 1965 with the cosmonauts by Pavel Belyayev and Aleksei Leonov.

Russian version, Русская версия: Будущих космонавтов учат выживать на морозе в подмосковных лесах.

MosNews: “NASA Astronauts Survive Freezing Russian Temperatures”, 31/1.

March

10/3

From Novosti Kosmonavtiki news №538:

The ISS crew passes pre-launch examinations

The international crew of the 13th ISS expedition prepared for the delivery of preflight examinations on Thursday. In the basic crew composition are Russian Pavel Vinogradov, American Jeffrey Williams and Brazilian Marcus Pontes. The understudies [back-up crew] will undertake the session together with the basic crew.

The cosmonauts “will conduct prelaunch complex training in the mock-ups of the ISS Russian segment and the Soyuz spacecraft, the latter on which the crew must launch to the station on 30 March,” the representative of the cosmonaut training center, Sergei Tafrov, told ITAR- TASS.

In the exam, practical tasks are included as well as theoretical questions. Maksim Kharlamov, the division head of the cosmonaut training center, reported to journalists that these comprise “different contingency situations that can arise on the ISS and the Soyuz, and also tasks with respect to special medical aid in orbit.”

For example, for the present ISS 12th crew, comprising Valerii Tokarev and William MacArthur, it was necessary at the examinations “to put out a fire” on the ISS, to cope with an “emergency” in the Vozdukh system and a “defective” on-board computer, and to render first aid to each other. It was necessary to overcome still more “emergencies” so they could land a Soyuz.

The examination session will extend over two days to 14 March, and then the interdepartmental commission will finally affirm the compositions of the basic and duplicating crews. Then the crew will leave for Baikonur where they must test the spacecraft and spacesuits.

Pavel Vinogradov and Jeffrey Williams will stay in orbit for half a year. The first Brazilian astronaut in history, Marcus Pontes, must “visit” the station for ten days and return to Earth together with the 12th crew on 9 April.

Russian version, Русская версия: Экипаж МКС перед стартом сдает экзамены

17/3

Cosmonaut Viktor Afanas’ev retired today :-(. He reached the age limit for military service (born in 1948). Via Mgr. CSc. Antonín Vítek at Astroaddies:

Afanas’ev, Viktor Mikhailovich left the post of deputy commander of RGNII CPKG according to the order issued by Secretary of Defence of the Russian Federation dated March 20th, 2006 and order issued by the Commander of RGNII CPGK issued on April 17th. He was transferred from cosmonaut group and Russian Armed Forces to the retirement on the same day.

According to Shamsutdinov from Novosti Kosmonavtiki, in the Russian cosmonaut group there are only 17 active cosmonauts now and only 6 with previous spaceflight experience.

April

7/7

MSNBC.com: “A quiet man gets the spotlight in space”, James Oberg. profile of Valerii Tokarev.

May

7/5

FPSpace: “Russia’s ISS crewing plans”.

Novosti Kosmonavtiki’s Sergei Shamsutdinov reports that Russian Space Agency, Star City and RKK Energiya officials have reached preliminary agreement on the Russian crew members for Expeditions 15 to 19:

Designated Russian ISS crews: 7 May 2006
Expedition Prime crew Backup crew
EO-15 (Soyuz TMA-10 N°220 - March 2007) F. Yurchikhin, O. Kotov R. Romanenko, M. Korniyenko
EO-16 (Soyuz TMA-11 N°221 – September 2007) Yu. Malenchenko A. Kaleri
EO-17 (Soyuz TMA-12 N° 222 – March 2008) S. Volkov, M. Kononenko S. Krikalyov, M. Surayev
EO-18 (Soyuz TMA-13 N° 701 – September 2008) A. Kaleri S. Padalka
EO-19 (Soyuz TMA-14 N° 702 – March 2009) S. Krikalyov, M. Surayev S. Sharipov, O. Skripochka

These assignments are preliminary and subject to change. Kaleri is reportedly not eager to perform another back-up role and wants to get down to EO-18 training straightaway. If Krikalyov flies EO-19, he will become the first Russian to fly seven missions.

Note that EO-18 will mark the introduction of an improved Soyuz TMA with a new computer system, replacing the old Argon system. The new system will first be tested on three Progress missions (serial numbers 401, 402, 403) beginning in late 2007. This is only one in a series of Soyuz modifications that have been planned since the late 1990s and are now gradually being implemented. Others (to be introduced later) include a Russian-built Kurs-N rendezvous system (replacing the Ukrainian Kurs) and an improved cooling system for the hydrogen peroxide re-entry control thrusters. The latter modification should allow Soyuz to remain in orbit for one year.

Soyuz numbers 701 and 702 will be new-model Soyuz with digital control systems.

Original posting at the Novosti Kosmonavtiki forum: Планы по МКС-15-19.

23/5

25/5

News of the latest group of recruits, the 2006 group. No names yet, unfortunately! There might be a woman amongst them (Elena Serova, wife of cosmonaut Mark Serov).

From Novosti Kosmonavtiki news №554 (The news seems to have since disappeared from that edition?):

The Cosmonaut Training Center has completed the sequential recruiting of candidates for spaceflight

The future candidates for the Cosmonaut Group have been selected from the number of military pilots, reported Interfaks-AVN, quoting the group’s commander, Colonel Yurii Lonchakov.

“For approximately one-and-a-half years we selected aviation candidates to study at the Cosmonaut Training Center. Throughout this time, more than a thousand military pilots passed through the unique filter of medical and other tests. From them has been made a preliminary selection of six people,” reported Yu. Lonchakov.

According to him, the six military pilot candidates will be subsequently joined by civil specialists, selected from the Energiya Rocket & Space Corporation (Korolyov, Moscow region), GKNPTS Khrunichyov (Moscow) and TSSKB Progress (Samara). “I think that the total number of group will be, at a maximum, 11 to 12 people,” said Yu. Lonchakov.

Yu. Lonchakov explained that the recruiting of cosmonauts has been accomplished as needed. The initial general preparation course will take approximately two years.

Russian version, Русская версия:

Центр подготовки космонавтов завершил очередной набор кандидатов на полеты в космос

Из числа военных летчиков выбраны кандидаты в будущий отряд космонавтов, сообщил «Интерфаксу-АВН» в среду командир отряда полковник Юрий Лончаков.

«В течение примерно полутора лет мы отбирали в авиационных частях кандидатов на учебу в Центре подготовки космонавтов. Всего за это время через своеобразное сито медицинских и других проверок прошло более тысячи военных летчиков. Из них, предварительно, отобраны шесть человек», – сообщил Ю.Лончаков.

По его словам, к шести кандидатам из числа военных летчиков впоследствии присоединятся гражданские специалисты, отбор которых проходит в Ракетно-космической корпорации «Энергия» (Королев, Московская область), ГКНПЦ имени Хруничева (Москва) и ЦСКБ «Прогресс» (Самара). «Думаю, общая численность группы будет, максимум, 11-12 человек», – сказал Ю.Лончаков.

Ю.Лончаков пояснил, что набор в космонавты осуществляется по мере необходимости. Курс общекосмической подготовки рассчитан примерно на два года.

Novosti Kosmonavtiki forum discussion: Новый набор в отряд космонавтов.

June

13/6

From the FKA site, a report of crew sea training; the crew compositions were for this training:

Cosmonauts from the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center conducted ISS crew training at Sevastopol’

During the period from 26 May through 10 June 2006, training was conducted for crew preparation in case of a nonstandard Soyuz TMA landing on water. The basic task of the training was the physiological training of cosmonauts in case of a nonstandard landing of the descent vehicle on water. The crew compositions were:

ISS crew compositions: 13 June 2006
ISS-15 prime crew (for 26/5/2006)
  • Kotov, Oleg Valer’evich (RGNII TsPK)
  • Yurchikhin, Fedor Nikolaevich (RKK Energiya)
  • Anousheh Ansari (USA UKP)
ISS-15 backup crew
  • Romanenko, Roman Yur’evich (RGNII TsPK)
  • Kornienko, Mikhail Borisovich (RKK Energiya)
  • Daisuke Enomoto (Japan UKP)
Provisional crew (for 2/6/2006)
  • Lonchakov, Yurii Valentinovich (RGNII TsPK)
  • Artem’ev, Oleg Germanovich (RKK Energiya)
  • Skripochka, Oleg Ivanovich (RKK Energiya)
ISS-17
  • Volkov, Sergei Aleksandrovich (RGNII TsPK)
  • Kononenko, Oleg Dmitrievich (RKK Energiya)
  • Tani, Daniel (NASA) ISS-16

Russian version, Русская версия: Центр подготовки космонавтов им.Ю.А.Гагарина провёл тренировки экипажей МКС в г.Севастополь.

July

Novosti Kosmonavtiki magazine №08 July 2006 has a page online with updates concerning the Cosmonaut Group: «Сформированы экипажи МКС-15»:

ISS Expedition 15 is formed

At the beginning of June 2006 Roskosmos and NASA formed the crews of the 15th ISS basic expedition in the following groups:

The basic crew:

  • Fedor Yurchikhin – ISS commander and Soyuz flight engineer;
  • Oleg Kotov – ISS flight engineer and Soyuz commander;
  • Clayton Anderson - ISS flight engineer 2.

Duplicating crew:

  • Roman Romanenko – ISS and Soyuz commander;
  • Mikhail Korniyenko – ISS and Soyuz flight engineer;
  • Gregory Chamitoff1 – ISS flight engineer 2.

1 Chamitoff; earlier in NK was accepted writing “Chamitoff”, but, according to the astronaut himself, his surname should be transliterated [from English to Russian] as “Shamitoff”, Шамитофф.

It is assumed that soon the ISS-15 crews will be affirmed by the MCOP international commission. It is remarkable, that among six cosmonauts and astronauts included in the ISS-15 crews, five have not yet flown into space; only F.N.Yurchikhin has in his active membership one short-term flight on the shuttle.

Two Russian members of the 15th ISS expedition (commander and flight engineer) will bedelivered to the Station by the Soyuz TMA-10 ship (№220); the planned starting date is 9 March 2007; the third ISS-15 crew member (flight engineer 2) will first be Sunita Williams. She must launch earlier, during December 2006, on the shuttle STS-116. Sunita will replace Thomas Reiter on board the Station and she will work as part of the crews of the 14th and 15th expeditions. For the changeover during June 2007 Clayton Anderson will arrive on the shuttle STS-118. First he will become part of the ISS-15 crew, then he will continue work at the station as the third member of the 16th expedition.

To the third seat in the ship Soyuz TMA-10 is assigned the U.S. citizen Charles Shimoni, who intends to carry out short-term flight as the tourist according to the program of the visiting ISS crew. During June 2006 Charles Shimoni approached the IMBP medical board to acquire permission to begin training. After obtaining the admittance of the main medical board (GMK) he will be able to begin flight preparations at RGNII TsPK.

Cosmonaut training

At the end of June 2006 the basic ISS-14/VC-11 crew (M. Lopez-Alegria, M. Tyurin, S. Williams, D. Enomoto) and duplicating crew (P. Whitson, Yu. Malenchenko, K. Anderson, A. Ansari) left for the USA for the final training session in the Johnson Space Center. The crews are approaching the completion of their training. At the end of August of 2006 the cosmonauts will pass complex training examinations at TsPK. The launch of the two ISS-14 crew members and VC-11 tourist planned on 14 September 2006, aboard the ship Soyuz TMA-9 (№219).

In the period from 26 May through 9 June sea training was conducted in Sevastopol in the Crimea, in which participated four conditional crews:

  • Commander O. Kotov, flight engineer F. Yurchikhin, space flight participant A. Ansari (from 26 May through 2 June);
  • Commander R. Romanenko, flight engineer M. Korniyenko, space flight participant D. Enomoto (from 26 May through 2 June);
  • Commander Yu. Lonchakov, flight engineers O. Skripochka and O. Artem’ev (2-9 June);
  • Commander S. Volkov, flight engineers O. Kononenko and D. Tani (2-9 June).

The cosmonauts of the TsPK force – Yu. Lonchakov, G. Padalka, S. Sharipov, A. Skvortsov, A. Samokutyaev, A. Shkaplerov, A. Ivanishin and Ye. Tarelkin – passed flight training in May-June on the L-39 trainer aircraft at the Eiskogo, Ейского air school base.

The cosmonauts of other groups during June were occupied with planned preparation. They studied the Soyuz TMA onboard systems, ISS Russian and American segments, and also completed training on the simulators.

Composition of the training groups of cosmonauts and astronauts in RGNII TsPK: 30 June 2006
ISS-14/VC-11 Michael Lopez-Alegria, Mikhail Turin, Sunita Williams, Daisuke Enomoto and Peggy Whitson, Yurii Malenchenko, Clayton Anderson, Anoushe Ansari
ISS-15 Fedor Yurchikhin, Oleg Kotov, Clayton Anderson, Roman Romanenko, Mikhail Korniyenko, Gregory Chamitoff
ISS-16/17 Yurii Lonchakov, Aleksandr Kaleri, Sergey Volkov, Maxim Surayev, Oleg Kononenko, Maykl Barratt, Sandra Magnus, Timoti Kopra, Robert Benken, Nicolas Stott, Garrett Reyzman
ISS-Group 1 Yurii Baturin, Gennadii Padalka, Salizhan Sharipov, Sergei Treshchyov.
ISS-Gr. 2 Konstantine Val’kov, Aleksandr Skvortsov
ISS-Gr. 3 Sergei Revin, Sergey Moshchenko, Oleg Skripochka, Yurii Shargin
ISS-Gr. 4 Aleksandr Samokutyaev, Anton Shkaplerov, Anatoliy Iivanishin, Yevgeny Tarelkin
ISS-Gr. 5 Andrei Borisenko, Mark Serov, Oleg Artem’ev, and also Kazakhstan cosmonauts Aidyn Aimbetov and Mukhtar Aimakhanov

Cosmonauts not presently occupied with spaceflight preparation

  • Pavel Vinogradov carries out his spaceflight on board the ISS as the commander of the 13th Expedition.
  • Valerii Tokarev is undergoing a course of rehabilitation after his prolonged space flight.
  • Dmitriy Kondrat’ev has been situated on an assignment in the USA from May 2006, serving as the representative of RGNII TsPK in the Johnson Space Center at NASA.
  • Sergey Krikalyov, Aleksandr Lazutkin and Konstantine Kozeev work in the cosmonauts’ division at RKK Energiya.
  • Boris Morukov and Sergei Ryazanskii work at IMBP.
  • Sergey Zhukov works as the Director-General of ZAO Technology Transfer Center with Roskosmos.

As of 30 June 2006, in Russia there is a total of 37 cosmonauts; 28 of them consist of different training groups.

30/7

August

10/8

From Novosti Kosmonavtiki news №570:

10/08/2006/00:02 – Russians do not want to be cosmonauts

The attempt to recruit the new generation of Russian cosmonauts failed for the first time in 40 years – the rare possibility to join the fCosmonaut Group attracted only a handful who desired it, writes Kommersant.ru. Entire the 16th collection of cosmonauts since 1966 was announced in the past year by the gigantic state space corporation Energiya, which develops and constructs spacecraft. In the Soviet epoch a similar declaration regularly attracted 3500 aspirants…

However, now the situation has radically changed. Energiya attracted only tens of claims in one-and-a-half years, of which only one – 28-year-old Helen Serov – was accepted for the examination. The remaining competitors did not even pass the medical commission.

According to Vladimir Khodakov, a specialist for the production of automatic spacecraft, today only a few cosmonauts manage to actually get a spaceflight, and this is one of the main reasons for the deficiency in those desiring to be one… But, probably, there is a more serious problem – money.

Russian version, Русская версия: Россияне не идут в космонавты.

September

11/9

From Novosti Kosmonavtiki news №576:

11/09/2006/00:04 Cosmonauts from Star City solve mathematical problems on the airfield of the Berdskeyeo helicopter regiment

Eleven cosmonaut-testers from Zvezdni Gorodok arrived at the airfield of the Berdskeyeo helicopter regiment in order to prepare their bodies and nerves for off-nominal space situations, reports the site www.amic.ru. In the landing area is presently encamped a “Mission Control Center” tent, equipped with digital computer technology. The training hall for the cosmonauts is open sky, main sport apparatus is a time-monitored personal parachute, air “delivery” is by a leased Mi-24 regimental helicopter. But the central objective of the jumps is not the exponential foibles of the “space”-trained body, but a ten-second “brainstorm”: during the free fall the cosmonaut must solve an arithmetical problem. Moreover not a plain “from point A to point B,” but from the field of higher mathematics with the “space” incline, reports the Evening Novosibirsk.

“We call such trainings psychological,” says Colonel Sergey Malikhov, the chief of the paraborne service of the center of training cosmonauts. “Only imagine this: height of four thousand meters, the delayed jump, cosmonaut, equipped with sensors, on the whistle flies downward, in this case he solves the problem aloud, he follows the altimeter in order to be in time to pull the ring, and simultaneously he tries not to be disturbed. Because our physicians follow from the Earth: if the pulse was brought down, the entire leap was all for nothing. A cosmonaut must have strong nerves and a cool head. Here we jump for an entire month – nerves are strenghtened.”

In the Novosibirsk sky the cosmonauts strengthen their nerves already for a third year: earlier they jumped in Rostov and Krasnodar, but because of the intrigues of Chechen fighters they moved to Siberia. True, nowadays the cosmonauts are not transport with the weather: instead of the full thirty days they jumped only twenty-two – rain means nonflying weather.

Russian version, Русская версия: Космонавты из Звёздного решают математические задачи на аэродроме Бердского вертолетного полка.

October

5/10

From Novosti Kosmonavtiki news №581:

05.10.2006/16:39 Russian cosmonauts will pass their rehabilitation at Bashkiriya

Russian cosmonauts will pass their post-flight rehabilitation at the sanatoriums of Bashkiriya, reported RIA Novosti. The appropriate agreement was signed in the capital city, Ufa, by the Bashkiriya government prime minister Raphael Baydavletov and the chief of the Russian Yu.A. Gagarin Russian State Science Research Cosmonaut Training Centre (RGNII TsPK), Lieutenant-General Vasilii Tsibliev.

The Krasnousol’sk, «Красноусольск», sanatorium was selected as the place for the postflight restoration of cosmonauts, the government of Bashkiriya reported.

“This is a better place for the rehabilitation of cosmonauts,” said Tsibliev at the document signing ceremony.

According to him, Bashkiriya became the only region of Russia where the sanitation and health sanitation of cosmonauts will be organized.

“Within the framework of this agreement will be subsequently signed an additional document, which regulates preflight pilot training under the conditions of the recreational system,” added Tsibliev.

According to him, the sides will together treat the post-flight rehabilitation of Russian cosmonauts in the sanitation and health establishments of Bashkiriya.

Also planned is a joint agreement and performing of scientific research work on the improvement of health-improvement- rehabilitative procedures, procedures of reducing treatment, used in the post-flight rehabilitation of cosmonauts.

According to the Premier of Bashkiriya, the interests of the parties serves also the activity in the attraction of young people of Bashkortostana to the creative activity in the field of cosmonautics. There is planned the organization and conducting of youth educational, technical and artistic competitions, and mobile exhibition exposures in the republic that are dedicated to the history and achievements of cosmonautics.

RGNII TsPK already has experience of successful joint operations with the scientific research institutes and the laboratories of Bashkiriya in the region of improving the system of training cosmonauts. In particular, Bashkir honey is included in the onboard food rations of ISS crew members.

“We understand the importance of the task entrusted in us; therefore let us do everything we can in order to justify high confidence,” said the Bashkiriya Head of Government.

The agreement about the collaboration of the republic and RGNII TsPK was accepted during July of this year, when the representatives of the Center visited Bashkiriya. Then it was noted that, according to the results of a survey conducted by RGNII TsPK of monitoring Russian health resorts, the sanatoriums of Bashkiriya proved to be most suitable for conducting the post-flight rehabilitation of cosmonauts.

According to the data of the specialists of the Center, the level of equipment and the enlisted potential of the establishments of the recreational system of region correspond to all presented requirements.

The initiative is supported by the President of Bashkiriya, Murtaza Rahimov.

The Cosmonauts’ Training Center is directing the RF agency on the selection of cosmonaut candidates and training of the cosmonauts of all categories and specialties for flights on any manned automatic spacecraft, on development and improvement of the system of training cosmonauts, medical support of preparation for cosmonauts and their rehabilitation after the fulfillment of space flights, creation and arrangement of technical equipment for training of cosmonauts.

Within the period from 1961 through 2006 in the Yu.A. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre was trained 422 people of 30 countries of the world. From them, 212 completed space flights.

– A.ZH.

11/10

The 2006 cosmonaut selection group was announced on the Russian Federal Space Agency site. There is one woman among the selection of seven, Elena Serova (wife of Mark Serov, 2003 selection). All the 5 military selections are pilots from the Russian Air Force (VVS) and some from the PVO (Air Defence Force) as well.

11-10-2006 About the session of the interdepartmental commission for the selection of the cosmonauts

On 11 October, in the Roskosmos building under the leadership of A.N. Perminov and the Management of the Russian Federal Space Agency, there took place an interdepartmental commission session for the selection of cosmonauts. The commission is based on the proposals of the S.P. Korolev Rocket & Space Corporation Energiya, the Yu.A. Gagarin Russian State Science Research Cosmonaut Training Centre (RGNII TsPK) and the Russian Federation State Scientific Center - the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences concerning the represented candidatures to the enrollment into the force of cosmonauts by cosmonaut candidates, and also for the guaranteeing of timely preparation and fulfillment of the manned space flights on the ISS.

The decision was made:

To recommend the appointment of A.N. Ovchinin, S.N. Ryzhikov, A.A. Misurkin, O.V. Novitskiy, M.T. Ponomarev, N.V. Tikhonov, and E.O. Serova to the post of cosmonaut candidate in in the appropriate organizations and to charge RGNII TsPK and Energiya to solve a question about the attachment to RGNII TsPK of N.V. Tikhonov and Ye.O. Serov for the period of their general cosmonaut space preparation. To charge RGNII TsPK with organizing the routine basic spaceflight preparation of A.N. Ovchinin, S.N. Ryzhikov, A.A. Misurkin, O.V. Novitskiy, M.T. Ponomarev, N.V. Tikhonov, and E.O. Serova according to the program of preparation for the cosmonaut-testers.

Names of the cosmonaut candidates (aged between 24-35 years):

2007 cosmonaut candidates
RGNII TsPK candidates
Misurkin, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich
Мисуркин, Александр Александрович
Born 23 September 1977, Major, the VVS and PVO 4th Army (Rostov-on-Don) (zone of responsibility – North-Caucasian VO)
Род. 23 сентябрь 1977, майор, 4-я армия ВВС и ПВО (Ростов-на-Дону) (зона ответственности – Северо-Кавказский ВО)
Novitskii, Oleg Viktorovich
Новицкий, Олег Викторович
Born 12 October 1971, Lieutenant Colonel, the VVS and PVO 4th Army
Род. 12 октябрь 1971, подполковник, 4-я армия ВВС и ПВО
Ovchinin, Aleksei Nikolaevich
Овчинин, Алексей Николаевич
Born 28 September 1971, Major, the 70th individual test-training air regiment of the special designation named after Seregina RGNII TsPK
Род. 28 сентябрь 1971, майор, 70-й отдельный испытательно-тренировочный авиаполк особого назначения имени Серегина РГНИИ ЦПК
Ponomarev, Maksim Vladimirovich
Пономарев, Максим Владимирович
Born 20 February 1980, Captain, the Special-Purpose Command (staff – Moscow) (zone of responsibility – Moscow VO)
Род. 20 февраль 1980, капитан, Командование специального назначения (штаб – Москва) (зона ответственности – Московский ВО)
Ryzhikov, Sergei Nikolaevich
Рыжиков, Сергей Николаевич
Born 19 August 1974, Major, the VVS and PVO 14th Army (staff – Novosibirsk) (zone of responsibility – SibVO) (now entire military aviation is subordinated to armies VVS and PVO, but not to military districts; there is no Transbaikal military district now generally, it was included SibVO)
Род. 19 август 1974, майор, 14-я армия ВВС и ПВО (штаб – Новосибирск) (зона ответственности – СибВО) (сейчас вся военная авиация подчиняется армиям ВВС и ПВО, а не военным округам; Забайкальского военного округа сейчас вообще нет, он был включен в состав СибВО)
Energiya candidates
Serova, Elena Olegovna
Серова, Елена Олеговна
Born 22 April 1976, works in TsUP.
Род. 22 апреля 1976 г.; окончила МАИ; супруга космонавта М.Серова
Tikhonov, Nikolai Vladimirovich
Тихонов, Николай Владимирович
Born 23 May 1982
Род. 23 мая 1982 г.; в 2005 г. окончил МАИ, медкомиссию в ИМБП начал проходить будучи еще студентом.

From the Energiya site:

International Commission on cosmonauts selection has decided in favor of enlisting seven new cosmonaut candidates as members of Russian cosmonaut corps. Among them are the employees of RSC Energia after S.P. Korolev, the engineers Yelena Olegovna Serova and Nikolai Vladomirovich Tikhonov.

Cosmonaut candidates are to get down in the established order to general space training to be conducted at RGNII CTC after Yu.A. Gagarin under test cosmonauts program.

13/10

Vesti.ru: «Космос как предчувствие». Video about Elena Serova and her husband Approximate translation below:

Anticipating space

Russia may become the first space power that will send a conjugal pair into orbit. Though it seems that the peak of the space race has long ago been surmounted, not all “firsts” have been achieved. China declared that 35 women are being prepared for spaceflight. They already train at the spaceport to the utmost extent and master the simulators at the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Aviation University.

In the Russian Cosmonaut Group there is only one woman. Elena Serov is preparing for space in a 12-meter room of a hostel in Korolev. Here she lives with her husband, also a cosmonaut, and their small daughter. In 8 years of this life the husband has been ideally prepared for endurance flights in enclosed space. “Sometimes we joke between ourselves, that for us weightlessness is not sufficient, in order to master another altitude,” acknowledges Elena.

However, at the orbital Station there is considerably more room. And for Elena it will be where, at long last, she can spread out. Especially as Russian women have not flown into space for 10 years. “A man has many tasks: to launch into space, to fly to another planet. As you consider this, can some men exist there?” she muses. As cosmonauts acknowledge, they can, but with great difficulty.

Recently they met space tourist Anousheh Ansari in orbit, who provided a big inspiration. “Not by chance is humanity so arranged, that this combination of men and women is harmonious,” notes Mikhail Tyurin, the commander of the 14th ISS Expedition.

If Elena and Mark Serov go into space, they will be the first family pair in orbit, but the intimate details, as the saying goes, are is not discussed. However, they can fly separately. Her husband agreed, that jealousy is not for the cosmonauts. “Cosmonauts are highly-motivated people; therefore adultery in orbit is impossible,” Mark is confident.

Of 400 people who have visited space, only 33 have been women. From these there are only three Russian women: Valentina Tereshkova, Svetlana Savitskaya and Elena Kondakova. Savitskaya indicates that sexual discrimination is present, and she recalls, that for some reason men’s mistakes in space are always pardoned, but not for women: “if a woman makes one tenth of this error, they immediately say: ‘This is female weakness’.” Therefore, women, who go into space must understand, that they can’t make mistakes.“

Doctors reject conversations about the incompatibility of the female organism and weightlessness. Some scientists even assert that woman cosmonauts in orbit have fewer problems with heart disease. Concerning the recent fainting of astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper’s during her formal speech after returning to the Earth, doctors consider this a completely natural reaction of any human organism. “We witnessed men fainting after flights of the same duration. The fact is that a solution about the formation of forces, unfortunately, not only and so many does not depend on medicine. There are no medical limitations in regard to this,” says Valerii Bogomolov, the deputy director for the medical support of flights of the Institute of Biomedical Problems (Russian Academy of Science).

Now the most difficult period remains for the family of Serovs – awaiting flight. Nadezhda Kuzhel’nova from the Cosmonaut Group did not make it to this stage: two years ago she left on a pension, without ever having visited orbit.

But the Serovs, as they say, anticipated going into space even from the student bench of the Moscow Aviation Institute. “We had a general dream, but we did not suspect that it could be carried out. But, as the saying goes: if we want it very much, it is possible to fly to space,” laughs Elena.

For three-year-old Lena it is difficult to get used to the thought that her Mum and Dad will fly away into space. But her parents assert that she will understand this as she gets older.

November

30/11

Test cosmonaut 3rd class Sergei Treshchyov retired today voluntarily. He will continue to work at RKK Energiya, in the 291st test department. Konstantin Kozeev and Aleksandr Lazutkin are due to retire in the near future. Konstantin has had problems keeping his weight down. Aleksandr had heart problems (faintness, a feeling of heartburn, chest pains) when he was in Houston on 1 August 2005 for training as part of the Expedition 12 backup crew. He was taken to hospital and an ECG revealed an abnormal heartbeat. He had a blockage in an artery, which was removed by the insertion of a catheter. He recovered well from the ordeal, but it effectively grounded him from spaceflight.

December

10/12

NASASpaceflight.com forum: posted by Olaf, some changes in the leadership of the Energiya Cosmonaut Group:

  • Aleksandr Kaleri is now the chief of flight service at Energiya, replacing Aleksandr Aleksandrov. The deputy commander to replace Kaleri has not been appointed yet. Aleksandrov is now the adviser to the Energiya president.
  • Salizhan Sharipov is the new first deputy commander of the GCTC Cosmonaut Group, replacing Afanas’ev who retired this year. Yurii Lonchakov is the commander of the GCTC Group.
  • Pavel Vinogradov is the commander of the Energiya Cosmonaut Group.