On November 19, the crews of the US, France, and Russia were welcomed by the International Space Station (ISS). A Russian Soyuz spaceship has brought to the space station Thomas Pesquet, a French astronaut of the European Space Agency (ESA), Peggy Whitson, from NASA, and Oleg Novitskiy, a cosmonaut of the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos.
- The crewmembers will work on developing different studies until February 2017.
- They have already set some significant goals which will be accomplished.
They have arrived at the International Space Station at 4:58 p.m. The Russian Soyuz was docked to the orbiting laboratory’s Rassvet module. The connection which happened at about 419 kilometers above Earth occurred on November 19, two days after the crewmembers set off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The crewmembers of the US, France, and Russia, joined the Expedition 50 crew, being coordinated by Commander Shane Kimbrough, a NASA member. The team also includes Andrei Borisenko and Sergey Ryzhikov, flight engineers who had arrived at the space station back in October. The six members of the crew will be there until February, conducting numerous researches in fields like physical science, biotechnology, Earth science and biology.
In February 2017, the members from the US, France, and Russia will depart for Terra. Besides other interesting subjects, they will also analyze the impact of lighting upon the state of health of the crewmembers. Another important analysis will involve the effect of microgravity environment upon the regeneration of the tissue in humans. They will also take a look at the genetic characteristics of plants grown in space.
The Expedition 51 which will start in February 2017 will have as a leader Peggy Whitson. She will be the first woman who will lead ISS twice in its history of 16 years. She was declared the first female who occupied this position back in 2007 when she was the commander of Expedition 16. Other two members will be joining Expedition 51 which will start in March 2017, and it will end in May 2017. They are Mark Vande Hei from NASA and Alexander Misurkin from Roscosmos.
Aside from fulfilling their science goals, these astronauts will receive three cargo deliveries containing research, fuel, supplies and food. They will also receive new lithium ion batteries bound to replace the ones used to store the energy produced by its four solar arrays. The spacewalks which will have as a goal the installation of these batteries will occur in January.
Image courtesy of: wikipedia