New ISS crew confirmed days ahead of launch

As expected, the primary crew got the green light for Monday's launch to the International Space Station.

The trio – Oleg Kotov, Soichi Noguchi and Timothy J. Creamer – got the ‘all clear’ from the governmental commission on Saturday.

They will spend the next six months orbiting Earth as part of the 22nd mission to the ISS.

“We are setting the stage to continue operations to go further away. This is becoming an important step on our way to the moon, Mars and beyond,” Creamer said.

The launch of the rocket that will carry the Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft is set for December 21, 00:52 Moscow time. On December 23 it is expected to dock with the ISS.