19 Feb 2020 20:02

Cosmonauts Babkin, Tikhonov unable to travel to ISS for medical reasons, to be replaced by Ivanishin, Wagner - Roscosmos

MOSCOW. Feb 19 (Interfax) - Cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Wagner will replace Nikolai Tikhonov and Andrei Babkin in the crew of the Soyuz MS-16 spaceship, as the latter have been excluded from it for medical reasons, Roscosmos Executive Director for Manned Flight Programs Sergei Krikalyov said.

"Regrettably, I have to say that several crewmembers will, it seems, be replaced for medical reasons. The crew which trained as the main crewmembers during the upcoming space journey, whose start was being prepared for April 9, will be replaced by others. As regards Russian crewmembers, Ivanishin and Wagner will be substituted for Tikhonov and Babkin," Krikalyov said.

"The reason for this is the temporary unfitness of one crewmember. However, naturally, we will not be disclosing his name on account of [it being] personal data," he said.

U.S. crewmember Chris Cassidy will most likely not be replaced, Krikalyov said.

"We will get in touch with our [U.S.] colleagues later and will likely propose the decision which we discussed. It is the optimum one for now," he said.

The launch of the Soyuz MS-16 spaceship is scheduled to take place on April 9, 2020. The crew originally included Russian cosmonauts Nikolai Tikhonov and Andrei Babkin and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy. The space journey is set to last for 200 days.