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Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub will stay on the International Space Station for one year

Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub will stay on the International Space Station for one year

Next year, a woman-cosmonaut from Belarus will go on a mini-visit to the ISS, so the two Soyuz spacecraft will change crews, and other changes will also be made.

On Monday, the Roscosmos commission determined the composition of the crew for the next expedition. Expeditions 70 and 71, the main long-term crew Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chupp, as well as NASA astronaut Laurel O’Hara, will launch in September 2023 aboard Soyuz MSZ-24. Meanwhile, an expedition crewed by Oleg Novitsky, a not-yet-confirmed Belarusian astronaut, and NASA astronaut Tracy Dyson will arrive at the International Space Station in March 2024 aboard the Soyuz MSZ-25 spacecraft. It is expected that after their short trip on the station, Novitsky and the Belarusian cosmonaut will return to Earth with Soyuz MSz-24, which has been there for a long time. However, the exchange does not stop here, as Loral O’Hara is also with them, so Tracy Dyson will continue her mission until September 2024, and will return later with Kononenko and Chub aboard Soyuz MSz-25.

Laurel O’Hara, Oleg Kononenko, Nikolai Chopp. Source: Roscosmos

Who could be the Belarusian cosmonaut?

At the end of last year, the selection of the Belarusian cosmonaut was still in progress. At the time, Roskosmos said that the identity of the astronaut would be revealed in January of this year, but this has not happened so far. According to some information, the lady will be the flight attendant Marina Vasilievskaya, and her assistant will be the pediatric surgeon Anastasia Linkova. Oleg Novitsky, who will be the cosmonaut’s mentor, will return to the space station in a fairly short time, as he has already participated in a long-term expedition between April and October 2021, as filmed with the Russian film crew.

Belarusian candidates. Among them, there was one that could go to the International Space Station in the spring of 2024. Source: Roscosmos

More than 1000 days in orbit around the Earth

Oleg Kononenko has so far spent 736 days in orbit around the Earth, and with this one-year expedition he will break the record set by Gennady Padalka, so Kononenko will have more than 1,000 days like him.

Oleg Kononenko will return home as the record holder after his year-long mission to the International Space Station. Source: Roscosmos
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