A special commission has announced the composition of the main and backup crews for the next mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Russia’s Soyuz-FG carrier rocket bearing the Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft is due for liftoff from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on September 30.
The main crew comprises Russian astronaut Maxim Surayev and Jeff Williams from the U.S.
Guy Laliberte, founder and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, will also join the mission as a space tourist.
The backup crew comprises Russia’s Alexander Skvortsov and U.S. astronaut Shannon Walker. The backup space tourist is Barbara Barrett, a U.S. businesswoman and former U.S. ambassador to Finland.
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.