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SFS News: ISS Expedition 17 Crew Changed 3 Weeks Prior To ..

Posted by: Klaus Schmidt - Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:51 am
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SFS News: ISS Expedition 17 Crew Changed 3 Weeks Prior To .. 
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Post SFS News: ISS Expedition 17 Crew Changed 3 Weeks Prior To ..   Posted on: Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:51 am
Russia's Space Agency confirms revised 17th ISS expedition

STAR CITY (Moscow Region), (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Space Agency confirmed on Wednesday the new composition of the main and back-up crews for the 17th International Space Station (ISS) expedition.

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The main crew, scheduled to lift off on April 8, 2008 on board the Soyuz TMA-12 craft, will comprise Russian cosmonauts Commander Sergei Volkov and Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko, and the first South Korean female astronaut, Yi So-yeon.

The decision to send So-yeon, 29, to the ISS instead of Ko San was made following a last-minute swap over allegations that the main candidate broke rules at the Russian training center near Moscow.

The head of the South Korean government's Korea Astronaut Program confirmed on Wednesday that Ko San acquired pilot's instructions that he was not authorized to read, as his main mission in space is to carry out scientific experiments.

"We confirm that Ko San was caught twice carrying documentation that was not related to his training for the 10-day expedition to the ISS," Choi Gi Hyuk said.

Ko San, a 30-year-old South Korean robotics specialist from the research center of electronics giant Samsung, has been assigned as part of the back-up crew, which also includes Russian cosmonauts Maxim Surayev and Oleg Skripochka.

The Russian Space Agency welcomed the change, although said it was up to South Korea to make such decisions.

Speaking at a news conference after the announcement of the new 17th expedition crew, Ko San expressed regret over the incident.

"First of all, I would like to apologize to the staff at the cosmonaut training center and to all Korean people for what happened," he said in Russian. "But I want to assure you that I had no intention of violating the rules. I simply wanted to learn more about the flight."

Meanwhile, a source close to Roscosmos said that the last-minute swap of Korean astronauts caused a number of problems for the flight preparation.

He said Yi So-yeon, unlike Ko San, practically does not speak Russian and was not trained as thoroughly as her colleague because he had always been the main mission candidate.

A $25-milion contract for a Korean astronaut to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) was signed between Russia and South Korea in December 2006.

South Korea held a national competition to select an astronaut. Several candidates underwent training at the Gagarin center in Russia under a separate contract.

Copyright 2008 RIA Novosti. All rights reserved.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:59 am
I wonder what's so secret about pilot's instructions so that a crew member isn't allowed to read them?

They should be content in my opinion that he wanted to learn more.

I guess that will get quite complicated if Yi So-yeon "practically does not speak Russian".

I'm not completely sure but I think the European ATV was loaded with clothing for the new crew as well, so getting a woman into presumably larger men's cloth will complicate things further.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:02 pm
I think the Russians were right, he broke their rules. OK you could argue that it wasn't a big deal but its the principle of the whole thing. If they ignore disregard for their regulations then the individual might be tempted to ignore something more important once in orbit.

Also the Russians want to control the release of this type of information so they decided to send a strong message to make sure no one was tempted to do this again in the future.

If you fly with the Russians you play by their rules. I am surprised that South Korea didn't pick someone who doesnt speak better Russian though.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:44 pm
Eh I think you misunderstood the news. The South Koreans changed it. The Russians did nothing ;)

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Post    Posted on: Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:19 pm
Klaus Schmidt wrote:
Eh I think you misunderstood the news. The South Koreans changed it. The Russians did nothing ;)


I thought that the Russians had asked South Korea to make the change as this article appears to say:

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.htm ... &PageNum=0

[quote]A South Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technologies official said in Seoul earlier in the day that the astronaut had been changed at Russia’s request. In his words, South Korea’s primary astronaut candidate, Ko San, 31, had violated the “training protocolâ€

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Post    Posted on: Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:09 pm
Korean women rock! :D My wife wife is Korean from Inchon. She'll get a kick out of this news. According to her bio, So-yeon's occupation is listed as "Student". She is a Ph.D candidate studying Biotech Systems, whatever that is.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:55 am
Well, I think the flight will get quite some publicity because she is a woman (and not from the US).

Whoever decided it then (I guess if we look at other Russian news agencies every single one will report something different *g*), the questions remain: What about clothing (even as it's only a short flight), what about the language etc... ?

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Post    Posted on: Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:37 am
Klaus Schmidt wrote:
Whoever decided it then (I guess if we look at other Russian news agencies every single one will report something different *g*), the questions remain: What about clothing (even as it's only a short flight), what about the language etc... ?


I think you're right about the reporting by Russian news agencies but I think it is unlikely that they would say he had been removed at Russia's request without there being some truth in it. But then again who can really tell whats true in the media. :)

I would have thought that the Russians would have included some clothes in the last progress ship, she was the back up crew member and I think that it is probable that they would have planned for her flying in case something happened to the first choice like an accident for instance. They might keep a selection of spare clothing on the ISS to cater for extended missions or extra crew (what happens if there is a problem with a shuttle and the crew have to stay for an extra few weeks waiting for a ride home).

I think that the language might be more of a problem and I am surprised that the Korean's didn't have a back up who was more fluent.

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