The new International Space Station crew 36/37 trained for upcoming space mission and took compulsory tests at Star city near Moscow on Tuesday (April 30).
The crew, that includes an American astronaut and mechanical engineer Karen Nyberg, a Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and an Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano, arrived early in the morning to give a news conference and then later proceed to the training.
During the conference Nyberg said that the main challenge for her was to overcome a language barrier during her time in Russia.
"There're a lot of similar challenges. For me, probably the biggest challenge is the Russian language. It's been a challenge for me. Learning the language, hopefully I've learned it to a point where I can be an efficient and effective crew member and do all the roles that I need to do," Nyberg said.
Her Russian counterpart Yurchikhin praised Nyberg for being a leader and a true professional.
"Much courage for Karen because we've used her experience in space and she's one of our crew members. One main our crew member. Yes?," said Yurchikhin.
The Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano, who represents the European Space Agency, will go into space for the first time.
"The answer is in the question already. It's the first time that I fly in a real space craft. As a test pilot, it's always a great emotion to fly for the first time in a new machine so I'm just looking forward to see how the machine performs in real life, the real flight after training so much in a simulator," Parmitano said.
After the news conference the cosmonauts proceeded to the training facilities.
The head of the Cosmonaut Training Centre Sergei Krikalev was very optimistic about the outcome of the training sessions as well as of the future of the new ISS crew mission.
"If there are going to be any nuances - this is only a training session, we are saying that this is a training and sometimes the exam itself serves as an extra training. Some nuances, roughness are uncovered. All this will benefit even if the crew will make some minor mistakes. All this brings benefit ahead of the real flight," Krikalev said.
"Crew readiness will be evaluated after the training is over. I hope that everything is going to be well because all the preliminary information that we have shows that the crew knows everything well enough, all the preliminary 'cuts', as we call them, are passed well and we don't expect any miracles from this training," Krikalev added .
Both the main and the backup crews will have their next training session on May 6 and 7. The launch of the ISS crew 36/37 mission will take place on May 28, 2013.