NKC Expedition 21 Text

A group of young, animated characters against a colorful background with the words NASA Kids' Club

The Expedition 21 Crew

The Crew

In October 2009, two new crew members flew to the International Space Station on board a Russian Soyuz. Frank De Winne, Nicole Stott, Roman Romanenko and Robert Thirsk were already on the station as part of Expedition 20. Jeffrey Williams and Maxim Suraev joined them to become the Expedition 21 crew.
Two members of Expedition 20, Gennady Padalka and Michael Barratt, flew home on a Soyuz.

Astronaut Frank De Winne was a flight engineer on the Expedition 20 crew. He stayed on the space station and became the Expedition 21 commander.
De Winne was the first European Space Agency commander of the station. He is from Belgium.

Cosmonaut Roman Romanenko was a flight engineer for Expedition 21. He is from Russia.

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. He was a flight engineer for Expedition 21.

NASA astronaut Nicole Stott traveled to the space station on board space shuttle Discovery with the STS-128 crew. She was a flight engineer for Expedition 21. She returned to Earth with the STS-129 crew on board space shuttle Atlantis.

NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams flew to the station on board a Soyuz in October 2009. He was a flight engineer for Expedition 21 and the commander of Expedition 22. He lived on the space station for six months in 2006 as a member of the Expedition 13 crew.

Cosmonaut Maxim Suraev also flew to the station on board a Soyuz in October 2009. Suraev was a flight engineer for Expeditions 21 and 22. He is from Russia.

The Expedition 21 Patch

Each expedition crew on the International Space Station designs a patch for its mission. On the Expedition 21 patch, the triangle in the middle has six star shapes around it. The stars stand for the six crew members on the space station working together.

The flags of the countries that had crew members working on the station divide the Expedition 21 patch into three pieces. One shows children on Earth standing in the bright sun. Space is explored to help them have a bright future. A second part shows the Soyuz and shuttle headed toward the International Space Station. NASA plans to go to the moon and Mars. They are pictured at the top of the patch. The six stars in deep space stand for future crews.

The Future

The Expedition 21 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!

Click here to learn more about other missions.

Page Last Updated: January 21st, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator