A few hours ago the Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and after about six hours reached the International Space Station with three new crew members on board. The Soyuz used the fast track, used again after the introduction of this spacecraft’s new version.
The three new members of the crew of the International Space Station, who complete the crew of Expedition 52, are:
Randolph James “Randy” Bresnik. Born on September 11, 1967 in Fort Knox, Kentucky, USA, he graduated from the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps as a Marine Corps official in 1989 and in the same year earned a Bachelor in mathematics at The Citadel. In 2002 he earned a Master in Aviation Systems. After serving in the military, in 2004 he was selected as NASA astronaut candidate. In 2009 he took part to the STS-129 mission on the Space Shuttle Atlantis completing two spacewalks. In 2011 he participated in ESA’s CAVES 2011 mission staying for a week in the Sa Grutta cave in Sardinia. In 2014, he commanded the 13-day NEEMO 19 submarine expedition.
Sergey Ryazansky. Born on November 13, 1974 in Moscow, in the then USSR, he graduated in biochemistry at the Moscow State University in 1996. After working as a researcher, in 2003 he was selected in the Russian space program. He participated in one of the tests of the Mars 500 mission that simulated a mission to Mars remaining in solitary confinement for 105 days with his “virtual crew”. He served on the International Space Station as part of Expedition 37/38 returning to Earth in March 2014 completing three spacewalks.
Paolo Nespoli. Born on April 6, 1957 in Verano Brianza, Italy, in 1980 he graduated from the Parachutist Military School in Pisa. In 1988 he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of New York and in 1989 earned a Master in Aeronautics and Astronautics. In 1991 he started working at ESA and in 2007 participated in the STS-120 mission on the Space Shuttle Discovery. In 2010 he served on the International Space Station as part of Expedition 26/27 on the mission called “MagISStra”. His new mission is called VITA (Vitality, Innovation, Technology, Ability), the acronym being the Italian for “life”.
Together with the staff a very special stylus was brought to the International Space Station, Forever Pininfarina Space. This is the result of research by NAPKIN, ALTEC (Aerospace Logistics Technology Engineering Company) and Pininfarina with a writing tip made of a metal alloy called Ethergraf®. This stylus uses the oxidation principle generated by the metal alloy with paper and doesn’t need ink. It’s ideal for the use in space because it creates no risks of leaving residues like a normal pen or of generating dangerous sparks such as a pencil’s graphite.
Peggy Whitson stayed on the International Space Station, where she’ll accumulate a time spent in space longer than initially scheduled to compensate for the fact that there are less cosmonauts following a Russian Space Agency Roscosmos’ decision. For this reason, the Expedition 52 complete crew is again of 6 people.