Rhianna Tung, Staff Writer
In recent events, the 50th expedition to the International Space Station has officially started! The first half of the crew joined the Expedition 49 crew on October 21st, while the second half of the crew arrived on November 19th. Currently the only way to get to the ISS is through the 2 day flight of the Soyuz spacecraft, only capable of carrying 3 astronauts at a time. Crewmembers Andrey Borisenko, Sergey Ryzhikov, and Oleg Novitskiy of the Rocosmos, Commander Robert Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson of NASA, and Thomas Pesquet of the ESA will be staying on the ISS for approximately 6 months. During this time, they will be testing the effects of lighting on the health and functionality of the astronauts residing on the ISS, zero gravity on the DNA of space grown plants, and how microgravity may play a role in humans and other vertebrates’ ability to regenerate and repair tissue. They will also continue the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment III(SAGE), which will lead to better understanding of the Earth’s atmosphere, how it effects all life on Earth, and how to care for it. While the crew will conduct complicated scientific experiments, they will also be able to enjoy their time in space. Don’t fear about the holidays either! They have already celebrated American Thanksgiving on November 24th with a hearty meal of rehydrated turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and vegetables.
To keep up with updates on the Expedition 50 crew and the ISS, follow the International Space Station on Twitter @Space_Station and on Instagram @iss.