Expedition 52 Begins Aboard Space Station
When humans launch to the International Space Station, they are members of expeditions. An expedition is long duration stay on the space station. The first expedition started when the crew docked to the station on Nov. 2, 2000.
Expedition 52 began in June 2017 aboard the orbiting laboratory and will end in September 2017.
FUN FACT: Each Expedition begins with the undocking of the spacecraft carrying the departing crew from the previous Expedition. So Expedition 52 began with the undocking of the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft that brought Expedition 51 crew members Oleg Novitskiy and Thomas Pesquet back to Earth, leaving NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer and Roscosmos cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin aboard the station to await the arrival of the rest of the Expedition 52 crew in July.
This expedition includes dozens of out of this world science investigations and a crew that takes #SquadGoals to a whole new level.
Take a look below to get to know the crew members and some of the science that will occur during the space station’s 52nd expedition.
Fyodor Yurchikhin (Roscosmos) – Commander
Born: Batumi, Adjar ASSR, Georgian SSR
Interests: collecting stamps and space logos, sports, history of cosmonautics and reading
Spaceflights: STS-112, Exps. 15, 24/25, 36/37, 51
Jack Fischer (NASA) – Flight Engineer
Peggy Whitson (NASA) – Flight Engineer
Randolph Bresnik (NASA) – Flight Engineer
Born: Fort Knox, Kentucky
Interests: travel, music, photography, weight training, sports, scuba diving, motorcycling, and flying warbirds
Spaceflights: STS-129 and STS-135
Sergey Ryazanskiy (Roscosmos) – Flight Engineer
Paolo Nespoli (ESA) – Flight Engineer
Born: Milan, Italy
Interests: scuba diving, piloting aircraft, assembling computer hardware, electronic equipment and computer software
Spaceflights: STS-120, Exps. 26/27
What will the crew be doing during Expedition 52?
In addition to one tentatively planned spacewalk, crew members will conduct scientific investigations that will demonstrate more efficient solar arrays, study the physics of neutron stars, study a new drug to fight osteoporosis and study the adverse effects of prolonged exposure to microgravity on the heart.
Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA)
Solar panels are an efficient way to generate power, but they can be delicate and large when used to power a spacecraft or satellites. They are often tightly stowed for launch and then must be unfolded when the spacecraft reaches orbit.
The Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA), is a solar panel concept that is lighter and stores more compactly for launch than the rigid solar panels currently in use. ROSA has solar cells on a flexible blanket and a framework that rolls out like a tape measure.
Neutron Star Interior Composition Explored (NICER)
Neutron stars, the glowing cinders left behind when massive stars explode as supernovas, are the densest objects in the universe, and contain exotic states of matter that are impossible to replicate in any ground lab.
The Neutron Star Interior Composition Explored (NICER) payload, affixed to the exterior of the space station, studies the physics of these stars, providing new insight into their nature and behavior.
Systemic Therapy of NELL-1 for Osteoporosis (Rodent Research-5)
When people and animals spend extended periods of time in space, they experience bone density loss. The Systemic Therapy of NELL-1 for osteoporosis (Rodent Research-5) investigation tests a new drug that can both rebuild bone and block further bone loss, improving health for crew members.
Fruit Fly Lab-02
Exposure to reduced gravity environments can result in cardiovascular changes such as fluid shifts, changes in total blood volume, heartbeat and heart rhythm irregularities, and diminished aerobic capacity. The Fruit Fly Lab-02 study will use the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) to better understand the underlying mechanisms responsible for the adverse effects of prolonged exposure to microgravity on the heart.
Watch their progress HERE!
Expedition 52 Mission Patch
Our planet is shown surrounded by an imaginary constellation shaped like a house, depicting the theme of the patch: “The Earth is our home.” It is our precious cradle, to be preserved for all future generations. The house of stars just touches the Moon, acknowledging the first steps we have already taken there, while Mars is not far away, just beyond the International Space Station, symbolized by the Roman numeral “LII,” signifying the expedition number.
The planets Saturn and Jupiter, seen orbiting farther away, symbolize humanity’s exploration of deeper space, which will begin soon. A small Sputnik is seen circling the Earth on the same orbit with the space station, bridging the beginning of our cosmic quest till now: Expedition 52 will launch in 2017, sixty years after that first satellite. Two groups of crew names signify the pair of Soyuz vehicles that will launch the astronauts of Expedition 52 to the Station.
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