The Expedition 20 Crew
Expedition 20 was the first mission in which six people lived on the International Space Station at the same time for several months.
Gennady Padalka, Michael Barratt and Koichi Wakata launched to the space station in March 2009. They made up the Expedition 19 crew. They stayed and became part of Expedition 20.
Gennady Padalka is a cosmonaut. He is in the Russian Air Force. Padalka was the commander of the last three-person station crew, Expedition 19. He was also the commander of the first six-person crew, Expedition 20.
Koichi Wakata flew to the station on the STS-119 mission. He joined the Expedition 18 crew as a flight engineer. Wakata stayed on the station and became part of Expeditions 19 and 20. He returned to Earth with the STS-127 crew. He was the first astronaut from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to live on the station.
This trip was Michael Barratt’s first into space. He is a doctor. Before Barratt became an astronaut, he was a doctor for space station crews.
Three new crew members flew to the station in May 2009. Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk joined the three astronauts already on the station to become Expedition 20.
Frank De Winne stayed on board the station and became part of the Expedition 21 team. He is the first European Space Agency commander of the space station.
This mission was the first trip to the space station for cosmonaut Roman Romanenko. He was the flight engineer for Expedition 20.
Astronaut Robert Thirsk is from the Canadian Space Agency. He was the first Canadian to live on the space station as part of an expedition crew.
NASA astronaut Tim Kopra traveled to the space station on the space shuttle Endeavour. He flew to the station with the STS-127 crew in July 2009. He took the place of Koichi Wakata, who then returned to Earth with the STS-127 crew.
NASA astronaut Nicole Stott traveled to the station on board the space shuttle Discovery. She flew to the station with the STS-128 crew in August 2009. She replaced Tim Kopra as a flight engineer. This was Stott’s first trip into space. Kopra flew back to Earth with the STS-128 shuttle crew.
The Expedition 20 Patch
Printed around the edges of the circle-shaped patch are the names of the Expedition crew. The two Xs are Roman numerals that stand for the number 20. The six gold stars stand for the six members of the Expedition 20 crew. The astronaut symbol starts at the bottom of the patch. It sweeps up to the silver star at the top. This shows that people on the ground and in space work together on the space station.
The Expedition 20 mission was an important step toward going to the moon and Mars. NASA studied how astronauts' bodies change when they stay in space for months at a time. What they learned on the space station will help NASA plan for long trips to the moon, Mars and beyond!
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