Mission Monday: Two Space Station expeditions launch and land in April

This month two International Space Station missions launched and landed. Get a glimpse into Expedition 62 and 63 in this Mission Monday post!

Expedition 63 launches to the International Space Station



On April 9, the crew of Expedition 63 launched into space aboard their Soyuz spacecraft. Shortly after launch, the crew of three docked with the International Space Station. The hatch was opened and the crew of Expedition 62 welcomed NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner aboard the station.

During their stay on station, the crew of Expedition 63 will perform several research investigations. These will continue to expand our knowledge of how microgravity impacts the human body during longer duration stays in space. One key area of research the crew will focus on concerns testing life support technologies. This will be instrumental in aiding astronauts in future deep space missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

The crew of Expedition 63 will be on station to welcome the first Commercial Crew astronauts to the ISS with the launch of the SpaceX Demo-2 flight test, currently scheduled for May 27, 2020. This will mark the return of astronauts launching aboard American rockets from American soil.

Expedition 62 concludes with the safe return of its three crew members

On April 17, just eight days after welcoming the Expedition 63 crew aboard the ISS, the crew of Expedition 62 safely landed in Kazakhstan.

NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan, and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, touched down on Earth at 1:16 a.m. EDT. This wrapped up Meir and Morgan’s first spaceflight and Skripochka’s third.

Morgan’s mission, which began on July 20, 2019, lasted nine months. His 272-day flight, which spanned Expeditions 60-62, contributed to the growing body of research on how the human body is impacted by long duration spaceflights. This valuable data will serve future missions as humans continue to venture deeper into space.

Meir and Skripochka launched aboard their Soyuz spacecraft on Sept. 25, 2019, joining Morgan onboard the ISS. In total, Meir and Skripochka spent 205 consecutive days in space for this expedition. During her first flight, Meir participated in the first three all-woman spacewalks with NASA astronaut and crew member Christina Koch (Expeditions 59-61).

The crew conducted many experiments during their time in orbit, including the evaluation of water droplet formation and an investigation of how human heart tissue functions in space.

Space to Ground

Learn about this weeks events in this International Space Station weekly round up video.

Stay tuned for future spaceflight updates!

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