NASA has rejected the Russian cash-saving suggestion of extending ISS visits to a year to allow room for space tourists, (sn reported). Russia is having problems with the cost of ferrying astronauts to the ISS since the USA grounded their shuttles.

"We sent a letter last week to our Russian partners, saying that it isn't the right time to extend the stay," said NASA spokeswoman Debra Rahn. "There are biomedical effects of space flight, and there are concerns about the effects of long-term weightlessness."

A replacement crew is currently on its way to the ISS, they are expected to dock on Wednesday. The current crew will leave shortly afterwards.