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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

No Plans for First Space Divorce

STAR CITY, Moscow Region -- What's the next drama in store for the international space station, where a member of the current crew became the first man to marry while in orbit? Not a divorce, the American commander of the three-nation crew said Wednesday.

Michael Foale, commander of the mission scheduled to begin with a launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Oct. 18, said neither he nor either of his two crew members intends to tie -- or untie -- the knot from aboard the space station.

"We do not plan to do any new marriages or divorces in space," Foale said after a news conference Wednesday at the Star City cosmonaut training center outside Moscow. "We are a very boring crew in that regard."

Foale's team includes cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri, who will command the Soyuz spaceship on the voyage to the station, and European Space Agency astronaut Pedro Duque of Spain. All three men are married with children.

In August, cosmonaut Yury Malenchenko caused a stir when he married Texas resident Yekaterina Dmitriyev as he orbited above the Earth. Russian officials accused Malenchenko of showboating and tried in vain to convince him to delay the wedding. Malenchenko and American Ed Lu are the station's two current crew members.

The future crew got the go-ahead for the mission Wednesday after completing preflight training and passing medical examinations at Star City.

Foale, 46, the mission commander, spent four months on Russia's now-scrapped Mir space station in 1997 and did a spacewalk to repair damage caused by a collision with a Progress supply ship.

Kaleri, 47, accumulated 416 days in space during three missions aboard Mir, in 1992, 1997 and 2000. Duque, 40, flew on the 1998 Discovery shuttle mission that gained fame for including veteran astronaut U.S. Senator John Glenn.