Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov are now preparing for the next expedition to the International Space Station as the prime crew with Sergey Prokopyev, Dmitry Petelin and Anna Kikina as their backups.
The ISS-67 prime crew is to go into orbit in March 2022, their backups in September 2022. If an agreement is signed between Roscosmos and NASA on seat swapping, the ISS-68 crew will be changed with NASA astronaut Francisco Rubio to go aboard Soyuz MS-22 instead of Anna Kikina who will join the Crew Dragon (flight USCV-5) crew scheduled to launch in August 2022.
Currently, Anna Kikina is training as the ISS-67 backup crewmember. Just like Dmitriy Petelin, she has no spaceflight experience yet. Crew commander Sergey Prokopyev has already worked on the ISS in 2018 and for almost 197 days with two spacewalks.
Now the ISS-67 backup crew, like the prime crew, is preparing for the flight on the Soyuz MS spacecraft and the International Space Station Russian segment simulators, practicing typical, non-nominal and emergency situations. In addition, their training plan includes training related to spacewalks, studying scientific experiments and much more.
For example, this week Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitriy Petelin tasted food for additional rations on board the ISS. Each cosmonaut can take six containers of food and beverages on a six-month expedition, designed to diversify the typical menu. Individual preferences of the crew members are taken into account before sets are bundled.
The food list includes 160-180 items. Several days during lunchtime are allotted for evaluating each of them. On the whole, crews’ training schedule is very tight. Each astronaut has many important tasks to accomplish.