NASA and its international partners have appointed crew members for a 2016 mission to the International Space Station.
NASA astronaut Jeff Williams is scheduled to launch in spring 2016 and return to Earth in fall 2016. He will join space station Expedition 47 crew members in orbit and will remain aboard as part of Expedition 48 with cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). Williams will assume command of the orbiting outpost upon the departure of Expedition 47's commander, Sergei Zaletin of Roscosmos.
This will be the fourth spaceflight and third long-duration mission for Williams, a former U.S. Army helicopter pilot and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy. Williams was a flight engineer aboard the station during Expedition 13 in 2006. He later served as a flight engineer during Expedition 21 and commander of Expedition 22 in 2010.
This will be the first flight for Ovchinin, a former Russian Air Force pilot and graduate of the Eisk Air Force Pilot School. Ovchinin has been a cosmonaut since 2009.
This will be the second long-duration flight for Skripochka, who served as a flight engineer during Expeditions 25 and 26 in 2010 and 2011. The former mechanical engineer has been a cosmonaut since 1999.
The crew for Expedition 47 will be:
-- Tim Kopra, NASA
-- Sergei Zaletin, Roscosmos
-- Tim Peake, European Space Agency
The crew of Expedition 48 will be:
-- Jeff Williams, NASA
-- Alexey Ovchinin, Roscosmos
-- Oleg Skripochka, Roscosmos
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