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Oct 22, 2012 7:13 AM by Associated Press

Soyuz crew ready for heavy space station workload

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) - The trio of unseasoned astronauts that will fly to the International Space Station this week say they are undaunted by the initial busy workload of their six-month mission.

NASA astronaut Kevin Ford said Monday that tasks on the orbiting laboratory over the first week will include a spacewalk to repair station equipment and the departure of a commercial Dragon capsule.

Ford, who blasts off on a Soyuz craft from the Russian-leased Baikonur spacer center in Kazakhstan on Tuesday together with Russian colleagues Oleg Novitsky and Yevgeny Tarelkin, is the only member of the crew with space travel experience.

U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams, Russia's Yuri Malenchenko and Aki Hoshide of Japan, who have been at the ISS since mid-July, are scheduled to return to earth next month.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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