The Expedition 56 crew has completed its mission on the International Space Station. Crew members came from the United States, Russia and Germany. They flew for NASA, the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and ESA (the European Space Agency).
On March 21, 2018, Ricky Arnold, Oleg Artemyev and A.J. (Drew) Feustel launched to the space station in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. They joined the Expedition 55 crew already there and stayed aboard to become the first half of Expedition 56.
NASA astronaut A.J. (Drew) Feustel was the commander for Expedition 56. The commander is in charge of the mission and makes sure it is a success.
In college, Drew worked as a car mechanic. He likes skiing and playing the guitar.
Drew is a geological scientist. He studies rocks and minerals. He is especially interested in earthquakes.
Expedition 56 was Drew’s third space mission. He flew on the space shuttle twice. But this was his first stay on the space station.
NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold was a flight engineer for Expedition 56. He grew up in Maryland.
Ricky likes running, fishing, reading, kayaking, bicycling and playing the guitar.
Ricky was a teacher before he became an astronaut. He taught middle school and high school in the U.S., Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Romania.
This mission was Ricky’s second trip to space. And this one was special! It was part of a Year of Education on Station. From September 2017 to October 2018, two astronauts who used to be teachers lived on the space station. They talked to students and shared lessons from space.
Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev was a flight engineer for Expedition 56. He was born in Latvia, a country near Russia. He flew for Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.
Missions on Earth help humans get ready to go to space. On one mission, Oleg practiced landing in the water during an emergency. For another, he practiced surviving in the Russian forest during the winter.
Expedition 56 was Oleg's second trip to the space station. He lived and worked there for several months in 2014.
On June 6, 2018, Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Sergey Prokopyev and Alexander Gerst launched to the space station in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. They joined the other three members of the Expedition 56 crew already on the station.
NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor was a flight engineer for Expedition 56. She was born in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Serena is an engineer and a medical doctor. Before becoming an astronaut, she was a flight surgeon for NASA. She helped make sure astronauts stay healthy.
She went to Antarctica to search for meteorites. And she worked as an "aquanaut" during underwater missions.
Expedition 56 was Serena's first trip to space! She was the first female Hispanic astronaut to live on the space station.
Astronaut Alexander Gerst was a flight engineer for Expedition 56. He is from Germany. When he was in school, he was a boy scout leader and a lifeguard.
Before becoming an astronaut, Alexander studied volcanoes. He has visited volcanoes on every continent, even Antarctica!
Expedition 56 was his second long-term stay on the station. He flew for ESA (the European Space Agency).
Cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev was a flight engineer for Expedition 56. He is from Russia. He flew for Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.
Sergey was a pilot in the Russian military before he was a cosmonaut. He has spent more than 900 hours flying airplanes! And he has parachuted more than 100 times!
Expedition 56 was Sergey's first trip to space.
Every expedition on the space station has its own mission patch. The Expedition 56 crew planned what would be on their patch. Then artists designed it.
A dove with an olive branch in its beak is at the center of the patch. This is a symbol of peace. The patch also shows the Soyuz rocket and the space station. Three astronauts' names are on the dove's wings and tail, and three on Earth along the bottom of the patch.