A little while ago the astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and the cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev returned to Earth on the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft, that landed without problems in Kazakhstan. The three of them spent a bit more than 6 months on the International Space Station, where they arrived on March 23, 2018 as part of Expedition 55.
During the time spent on the International Space Station with Expedition 56, the three crew members conducting various maintenance activities and many scientific experiments. SpaceX Dragon space cargo ship reached the Station on July 2, 2018. Its CRS-15 mission was completed with its return to Earth on August 3, 2018. The Russian space cargo ship Progress MS-9 reached the Station on July 9, 2018. On July 30 the Cygnus J.R. Thompson space cargo ship departed the Station. On August 22 the Russian space cargo ship Progress MS-8 departed the Station. On September 27 the Japanese space cargo ship HTV-7 Kounotori reached the Station.
During that time, 2 spacewalks were carried out. On June 14, 2018 Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold spent almost 7 hours to carry out maintenance work and install new HD cameras. On August 15, 2018 Oleg Artemyev spent almost 8 hours with his Expedition 56/57 colleague Sergey Prokopyev to manually put into orbit some nanosatellites and installa the experiment called Icarus on the Station’s Russian segment.
Two more spacewalks were scheduled to install new lithium-ion batteries transported on the Japanese HTV-7 space cargo ship by the two American astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold. However, the delays accumulated in the launch mainly due to bad weather in the launch base area resulted in a change of plans because the Kounotori arrived a few days before they came back to Earth.
On Wednesday, October 3, Drew Feustel officially handed over the command of the International Space Station to the German astronaut Alexander Gerst of ESA, marking the beginning of Expedition 57. The crew will be completed with the arrival of new members scheduled for October 11.