Moscow: Russia confirmed Wednesday the three new crew members scheduled to leave for the International Space Station (ISS) May 15.
They are Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin, and NASA astronaut Joseph Acaba. The Cosmonaut Training Center also revealed the backup crew comprising Oleg Novitsky and Yevgeny Tarelkin of Russia and American Kevin Ford, Xinhua reported.
Padalka told reporters the new crew will stay in orbit for 126 days. During their duty, the crew will host two manned space vehicles and one cargo space ship.
The cosmonauts will also conduct a spacewalk and 40 scientific experiments, he said.
Also on Wednesday, the ISS was raised by some 4.1 km to an average altitude of 395.3 km, in a bid to create favourable conditions for the May 15 docking.
The maneuver started at 1213 GMT by the boosters of the ISS` European ATV supply spacecraft and lasted 972 seconds.