First of two ISS crews prepares for April launch

The next of two International Space Station crews is preparing for its April 20 launch.

Russian space agency Roscosmos decided to reduce the Russian crew aboard the ISS from two to one in a bid to save money.

The Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft will carry only Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Yurchikhin and NASA astronaut Jack Fischer to the ISS instead of the usual three astronauts.

“We are alone for two months. We will be working pretty fast to get things done. But luckily we work really well together and don’t see any problems. It will be a higher workload but we can handle it,” said NASA astronaut Jack Fischer.

The two will join Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson of NASA, cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos, and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

When united, the team will continue with scientific research efforts only possible from the ISS.

The launch was initially planned for the end of March. It had been rescheduled for April 20 due to technical delays.

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