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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

First German-Russian space mission launched last Tuesday

Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev will return March 25 from the MIR orbital space station with German astronaut Maj. Klaus-Dietrich Flade and two Russian cosmonauts.

Maj. Flade, 39, a German Air Force test pilot, plus cosmonauts Alexander Kaleri and Alexander Viktorenko were aboard a module carried to the orbital space station by Soyuz 14, launched Tuesday afternoon in Kazakhstan.

Flade's duties will be to carry out several scientific experiments on the human body's responses to the absence of gravity, sleeplessness and other restraints of the orbiting space station.

The German government allocated 44 million deutschmarks ($30 million) to fund the training, said a press attache at the German Embassy in Moscow.

Cosmonaut Krikalev, has been aboard the MIR for 10 months, before the coup and the transformation of the old union.

The crew is scheduled to return to Kazakhstan on March 25. Germany has also participated in joint space missions with the United States.