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Meet the crew members of NASA Expedition 56

Right now, there are humans living and working in the International Space Station 254 miles above your head. Since the first crew went up to the orbiting space station in 2000, there have been 230 people from 18 different countries that have lived on the ISS for a time, usually in crews of six people. These people have participated in more than 2,400 research investigations advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs that could not be possible on Earth. Learn more about the ISS here.

On June 6, 2018 three astronauts launched from Russia to dock with the ISS. They will join the three crew members already on the space station and Expedition 56 will officially begin. And on June 28, an instant freeze-dried blend of Death Wish Coffee will arrive at the ISS to provide fuel to the crew

Expedition 56: Meet the Crew

Photo courtesy of NASA.

Currently on the ISS:

  • Commander Andrew "Drew" Fuestel (seated left): Drew is an American geophysicist, and this is his third time in space. He has flown twice on the now-retired Space Shuttle, and also conducted the first ever Instagram Live from space with National Geographic and actor Will Smith.
  • Oleg Artemyev (standing far left): Oleg is a Russian Cosmonaut who has published several scientific papers from his two times in space and has also received the Gold Star Medal and the title of Hero of the Russian Federation.
  • Richard "Ricky" Arnold (standing left center): Ricky is an American educator and a Navy veteran and has worked as a Middle School teacher in places like Morroco, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia.

Launching on June 6 to the ISS:

  • Commander Sergey Prokopyev (standing right center): Sergey is a Russian Cosmonaut and this will be his first time in space.
  • Alexander Gerst (seated right): Alexander is a German geophysicist and an ESA Astronaut. This will be his second time in space.
  • Serena M. Aunon-Chancellor (standing far right): Serena is an American physician, engineer, and astronaut and this will be her first time in space.

You can watch the June 6th launch and the dock to the ISS on NASA Live here.

The crew of Expedition 56 will be performing some exciting science experiments during the course of their mission on the ISS. Some of those experiments are:

Sextant Navigation Investigation:

The Sextant has been a form of navigation that has been used since the 1700s. While this is considered archaic in today's world with GPS, the idea of the investigation is to see the practical uses of this instrument in space. The ability to sight angles between the Moon or planets and stars will give crews another option to find their way home if communications and main computers happen to be compromised on deep space missions.

Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology:

This study, abbreviated BEST, will help astronauts to advance in-space DNA sequencing technologies. These will identify microbial organisms living on the space station and how the DNA of humans, plants, and microbes are affected by microgravity.

Cold Atom Lab:

The CAL creates a temperature 10 billion times colder than the vacuum of space and then will use lasers and magnetic forces to slow down atoms until they are almost motionless. this will allow the astronauts to observe the atoms for a much longer time than it would possible to do on Earth. The results of the research could lead to improvements in spacecrat navigation, quantam computers, and atomic clocks.

Keep up to date on everything from the space by following the different social media accounts: @Space_Station, @NASA, @SpaceX

Related: Death Wish Coffee is heading to the International Space Station

For media inquiries regarding Death Wish Coffee being sent to space, reach out to Shannon Sweeney at shannon@deathwishcoffee.com.