Expedition 15 commander and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and Expedition 15 flight engineer and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov will be launched aboard their Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They are joined by spaceflight participant Charles Simonli, a U.S. entrepreneur and former software developer for the fledgling Microsoft Corporation of the early 1980s.
Yurchikhin applied as a RSC Energia cosmonaut-candidate in 1997 He qualified as a cosmonaut in 1999, and began training as an ISS cosmonaut in 2000. Yurchikhin last visited the space station in October 2002 while a member of the STS-112 crew aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis. His biography appears at: https://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/yurchikhin.html.
Kotov has trained as a backup for several ISS mission, along with working as a CAPCOM (capsule communicator) controller for several ISS missions. He is one of the ISS flight engineers for the Expedition 15 mission as the Soyuz commander for the flight to the space station. His biography is shown at: https://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/kotov-ov.html.
Yurchikin and Kotov will join NASA astronaut Sunita Williams who is already on aboard the space station as Expedition 14 flight engineer. ISS Expedition 14 U.S. commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Russian flight engineer Mikhail Tyurin will return to the Earth, along with Simonli, after the fifth tourist to the space station finishes his 13-day visit where he will participate in biomedical experiments.
ISS Expedition 15 U.S. flight engineer Clayton Anderson will replace Williams when STS-118 arrives at the space station, now scheduled for June 2007. ISS Expedition 15 U.S. flight engineer Daniel Tani will replace Anderson during the scheduled September 2007 mission of STS-120 so that he can install Node 2 (now called Harmony), a connecting element for future European and Japanese modules, to the station.
NASA astronaut Anderson’s biography appears at: https://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/anderson-c.html.
NASA astronaut Tani’s biography is shown at: https://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/tani.html.
The biography of Charles Simonli appears at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Simonyi.