La notizia finora la riporta solo la BBC all’url:

E qui riporto il testo:

Astronauts set for mini-missions

By Irene Klotz
Cape Canaveral, Florida

Nasa is considering flying astronauts from Europe and other International Space Station (ISS) partner countries on mini-expeditions aboard the orbital outpost as early as next year.

Under the proposal, a second European crewmember would be added to the planned October 2007 shuttle flight slated to deliver the Columbus research laboratory to the platform.

News of the idea came from Germany’s Hans Schlegel, a member of the shuttle crew.

Unlike Schlegel and his five American crewmates who would return home after about a week at the ISS, the second European astronaut would remain aboard the complex for 2- 2.5 months, to begin science experiments in the new lab.

If the proposal was approved, France’s Leopold Eyharts would be under consideration for the slot, Schlegel said.

Shuttle shuffle

“Right now it’s under negotiations; but the position of the international partners is that as soon as their module comes up, [they want] to have an astronaut available onboard who is focusing on activating, checking out and starting the experiment flow on that individual module,” Schlegel said.

“It’s pretty much supported by all parties,” he added.

The proposal would have Eyharts return with the next shuttle crew and a Japanese astronaut take over his slot on the station for another two months. A third rotation would bring Canada’s first resident station crewmember to the outpost with the following shuttle flight.

The trio of mini-missions would take the place of one of the existing three, six-month resident slots currently held by Nasa’s Michael Lopez-Alegria, Russia’s Mikhail Tyurin and Europe’s Thomas Reiter.

“There are a number of proposals under consideration,” said Melissa Matthews, a spokeswoman with the US space agency. “We can’t comment on any specifics at this time.”

Nasa eventually plans to expand the station crew to six, full-time resident crewmembers.


Beh penso sia una buona idea… vedremo se si realizzerà…

spero proprio che vada in porto questa proposta…voglio vedere una stazione con più di 3 astronauti presenti contemporaneamente e per un lungo periodo continuativo…insomma bisogna sfruttarla il più possibile, no?