Preparing to blast off – two cosmonauts, one astronaut and one rubber duck

A press conference held in Star City cosmonaut training centre outside of Moscow introduced the four hopeful travellers to the International Space Station. The four will be travelling in the three seater Soyuz capsule. Fortunately, one of them is a rubber duck selected by the daughter of cosmonaut colonel Alexander Skvortsov as a mascot and good luck charm, so space, so to speak, will not be a problem.

Alexander Skvortsov will be joined by fellow Russian Mikhail Korniyenko and NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell-Dyson when launching from Baikonur on the 2nd of April. They in turn will join current residents of the ISS, Russian Oleg Kotov, NASA’s Timothy Creamer and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi, known for his many pictures from orbit, tweeted back to Earth. Together, the crew will be known as Expedition 23.

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