NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy along with two Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner reached the International Space Station (ISS) for a six-month-long mission named Expedition 63.
NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy along with two Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner reached the International Space Station (ISS) for a six-month-long mission named Expedition 63. The trio, who will undertake more than 160 science investigations during their six-month sojourn, reached the International Space Station on Thursday. The astronauts had taken a flight of more than six hours on the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft which had departed from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The astronauts were welcomed by NASA flight engineers Andrew Morgan, Jessica Meir and Commander Oleg Skripochka who are presently leading space science missions on the ISS. Skripochka is leading Expedition 62 along with Meir and Morgan on the ISS. After staying with the astronauts of Expedition 62 for eight days, Cassidy and his mission mates will be on their own as the Expedition 62 will be wound up by April 17 and Skripochka and his team will head back to the Earth. As part of their expedition, Cassidy along with Ivanishin and Vagner will undertake research in Biology, Earth sciences, human research and technology development. Expedition 63 is being headed by Chris Cassidy.
A formal change of command ceremony aboard the ISS will also take place on April 15. The ceremony, in which Skripochka will pass the baton to Cassidy, will be telecast live on the NASA television and the agency’s website. Cassidy, Ivanishin and Vagner will complete their mission by October this year and a new mission with another set of astronauts will replace them. For more than 20 years, humans have lived continuously on the ISS. Various missions have been undertaken to make new breakthroughs and lead path-breaking research in space science. So far more than 239 astronauts from a total of 19 countries have been to the International Space Station leading 2800 space science investigations.