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[i]The Soyuz MS-18 crew has a replacement! In April 2021, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei is flying to the ISS as Flight Engineer-2 instead of me.
In this composition, the crew backed up the Soyuz MS-17 crew, therefore such a late appointment would not affect the efficiency of their work.
Mark is an excellent specialist, with whom I was privileged to work hand in hand in training in Houston and Star City, when we "shared" the right seat of the spacecraft, awaiting the decision of the space agencies.
It was a real pleasure and great luck for me to prepare for a space flight with one of the most experienced cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and my 2012 recruitment friend Peter Dubrov. It was very useful and interesting to observe the work of real professionals and learn from their experience.
In fact, we had a well-coordinated crew of four for the ship, which has only three seats. We jokingly referred to this situation as the "Musical Chair" game. Now that the music has stopped, I want to wish the Soyuz MS-18 crew to successfully complete their preparations, make a beautiful start to the ISS, spend an unforgettable time there, and safely return to Earth![/i]
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