The arrival of three new astronauts on the International Space Station completes the Expedition 40 crew

Alexander Gerst, Maxim Suraev and Reid Wiseman in front of their Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft (Photo NASA/Victor Zelentsov)
Alexander Gerst, Maxim Suraev and Reid Wiseman in front of their Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft (Photo NASA/Victor Zelentsov)

A few hours ago the Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and after less than six hours reached the International Space Station carrying three new crew members. The Soyuz has used the fast trajectory normally used.

The three new International Space Station crew members, who complete the Expedition 40 crew, are:

Gregory Reid Wiseman. Born on November 11, 1975 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, graduated in engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He joined the Navy with the NROTC (Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps) program and was trained as an airplane pilot. He served two tours in the Middle East for which he received some honors and also obtained a master degree in systems engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 2006. In 2009 he was selected as an astronaut candidate and this is his first experience in a space mission. He’s married and has two daughters.

Maksim Surayev. Born on May 24, 1972 in Chelyabinsk, in the then USSR and now in Russia, he graduated with honors at Kacha Air Force Pilot School as pilot-engineer in 1994, graduated with honors at Zhukovski Air Force Academy in 1997 as a pilot-engineer-researcher. He received a law degree from the Russian Academy of Civil Service. He joined the Russian space program in 1997 and has already been on the International Space Station between 2009 and 2010 as part of the Expedition 21 and 22 also performing a spacewalk. For this service he received some honors including the Medal of the Hero of the Russian Federation.

Alexander Gerst. Born on May 3, 1976 in K├╝nzelsau, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, earned a degree in geophysics from the University of Karlsruhe, earned a master degree in Earth Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and a doctorate in natural sciences at the Institute of Geophysics of the University of Hamburg, Germany. In 2009 he was selected as an astronaut by ESA and is on his first space mission, called Blue Dot.

According to plans, the new crew members will return to Earth in November 2014. On the International Space Station, they’ll carry out routine maintenance, a series of scientific experiments and will manage the arrival and departure of various spacecraft.

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