The arrival of three new astronauts on the International Space Station completes the Expedition 36 crew

Karen Nyberg, Fyodor Yurchikhin and Luca Parmitano after being cleared for their mission (Photo ESA/NASA)
Karen Nyberg, Fyodor Yurchikhin and Luca Parmitano after being cleared for their mission (Photo ESA/NASA)

A few hours ago the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and after less than six hours reached the International Space Station with three astronauts on board. The Soyuz used the fast track successfully tested in the recent past.

The three new members of the crew of the International Space Station, who complete the crew of Expedition 36 are three flight engineers:

Karen Nyberg. Born on October 7, 1969 in Parkers Prairie, Minnesota, USA, earned a bachelor in mechanical engineering from the University of North Dakota in 1994, a master degree at the University of Texas at Austin in 1996 and a doctorate from the same university in 1998. From 1991 she started working at the Johnson Space Center to the improvement of thermal control systems of spacesuits, the evaluation of cooling technologies for firefighter suits, to the design of thermal control systems for future space missions and the analysis of the environmental control system for a foldable hyperbaric chamber. In July 2000 she was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA and in June 2008 was part of the crew of the STS-124 mission on the Space Shuttle Discovery that brought the Japanese Kibo laboratory to the International Space Station. She’s married to astronaut Douglas Hurley and they have a son.

Fyodor Yurchikhin. Born on January 3, 1959 at Batuni, in the then USSR and today in Georgia, he graduated in mechanical engineering from the Moscow Aviation Institute in 1983 specializing in aerospace vehicles. In 2001 he obtained a doctorate in economics. In 1997 he entered the Russian space program accumulating experiences in various missions. In October 2002, he was part of the crew of the STS-112 mission on the Space Shuttle Atlantis. In 2007 he went for the first time to the International Space Station, where he was also the commander of Expedition 15 performing three spacewalks. In 2010 he returned to the Station as a flight engineer as part of Expedition 24/25 performing two spacewalks.

Luca Parmitano. Born on September 26, 1976 in PaternĂ², Italy, earned a degree in Political Science at the University of Naples Federico II in 1999 and in 2000 graduated from the Accademia Aeronautica in Pozzuoli, Italy. Trained as a airplane pilot, on May 11, 2005 he was hit during a flight by a stork that seriously damaged his airplane but instead of ejecting he managed to bring it back to the ground even though it was very difficult to control it. For this reason, he was awarded the Silver Medal for Aeronautical value. In 2009 he obtained a degree in Engineering of Experimental Flight at the Higher Institute of Aeronautics and Space in Toulouse, France. In that year he was selected as an astronaut by ESA. Appropriately, his mission is called “Volare”, the Italian for “to fly”.

According to schedule, Nyberg, Yurchikhin and Parmitano will return to Earth in about five and a half months. In time they’re spending on the International Space Station besides their usual activities they’ll have to make preparations for the installation of the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module, scheduled for December. Above all, they’ll have to handle the arrival of ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle-4 “Albert Einstein” in June, the cargo spacecraft Progress in July and Japanese Space Agency’s H-II Transfer Vehicle-4 in August.

[ad name=”AmazonDocumentary”]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *