ISS now ready for six astronautsMay 7th, 2009 - 6:35 am ICT by IANS
Washington, May 7 (DPA) After more than 10 years of construction, the International Space Station is ready to double its crew to six astronauts from around the world in what will be its most international crew ever, the US space agency said Wednesday.
The equipment and supplies have been checked to ensure that there is enough space for three more permanent residents aboard ISS, NASA officials said at a press briefing.
On May 27, a Russian Soyuz craft will carry three more astronauts to the station. But unlike in the past, they will not be replacing those currently on board, instead they will join three astronauts already there to double the size of the crew.
It will be the first time all five of the partner space agencies - from the US, Russia, Japan, Europe and Canada - will have crew members living on ISS together at the same time.
Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk and European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne of Belgium will join current ISS residents Commander Gennady Padalka of Russia, Michael Barratt of the US and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata. Americans Timothy Kopra and Nicole Stott will replace other
crew members later in the expedition.
“It’s the most international crew we’ve ever had,” said Courtenay McMillan, who is managing Expedition 20, which begins with the arrival of the six-member crew.
The expansion will allow crew members to triple the amount of time they devote to science experiments on board.
The biggest challenge in expanding the station is providing food to so many more people, Dan Hartman, NASA’s manager of integration and operations, explained.
Several loads of food will be rocketed to the station on unmanned crafts to add to deliveries from NASA’s space shuttle. In September for the first time, the Japanese cargo delivery H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) will bring supplies to the station.
Even if space shuttle flights must be postponed or there are other problems, food supplies are sufficient to last beyond late October, Hartman said.
The crew will also for the first time drink water recycled through a machine designed to turn sweat and urine into drinkable water.
Two Russian spacewalks are scheduled for the crew during June.
- Three ISS crew to return to earth - Mar 29, 2012
- Russian Soyuz blasts off for ISS - May 27, 2009
- New space station crew in orbit - May 15, 2012
- Russian spacecraft undocks from ISS - Nov 22, 2011
- Russia confirms new crew members for ISS - Apr 26, 2012
- Space station crew lands in Kazakhstan - Apr 27, 2012
- U2, NASA create video to celebrate their collaboration - Aug 28, 2010
- Sunita Williams arrives at her new home in space - Jul 17, 2012
- NASA final shuttle launch scheduled for July 8 - May 21, 2011
- What do astronauts eat in space? - Jul 03, 2010
- Sunita Williams completes spacewalk outside ISS - Aug 31, 2012
- Space station crew land safely in Kazakhstan (Lead) - Nov 22, 2011
- Russia launches space freighter - Oct 31, 2011
- Russian space agency names next crew to ISS - Oct 25, 2011
- Discovery's last mission extended by a day - Mar 04, 2011
Tags: canadian space agency, cargo delivery, dan hartman, european space agency, frank de winne, gennady padalka, international crew, international space station, japanese astronaut, kopra, michael barratt, nasa officials, robert thirsk, russian cosmonaut, russian soyuz, soyuz craft, space agency astronaut, space shuttle flights, us space agency, wakata