Russian Space Agency confirms crew for 18th ISS expedition

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Moscow, Sep 23 (UNI) Russian space agency Roskosmos today confirmed the final selection of the main crew for the 18th International Space Station (ISS) expedition.

The crew, scheduled to lift off from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan on October 12 on board the Soyuz TMA-12 craft, would comprise of US astronaut Commander Mike Fincke, Russian cosmonaut Flight Engineer Yuri Lonchakov and US space tourist Richard Garriott, RIA Novosti reported.

The crew members successfully passed their pre-flight tests and medical checkup.

The current ISS crew includes Russian cosmonauts Sergei Volkov and Oleg Kononenko, and US astronaut Greg Chamitoff.

US millionaire Richard Garriott, who made his fortune with the development of online computer games, including the popular Ultima Online, would become the sixth space tourist to travel to the ISS.

The trip would cost him 30 million dollars.

Some reports earlier said he might participate in onboard scientific experiments and even conduct a space walk.

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