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NASA Names Next Crew for Space Station - 2003-04-02

The U.S. space agency NASA has named the next crew of the international space station. Their trip was delayed because of the space shuttle Columbia disaster.

NASA has chosen an American and a Russian who once visited the station together to return as the outpost's new crew. Astronaut Edward Lu and cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko went on a construction spacewalk outside the station three years ago. They are to fly back up to it aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft on April 26, only the second station crew to do so.

They were to arrive aboard a shuttle with another Russian cosmonaut in March. But the disintegration of Columbia in February caused NASA to halt shuttle flights while investigators determine the cause of the disaster.

NASA decided against sending a third crewmember to the station while shuttles are grounded because Russian rockets cannot carry enough supplies.