Latter Will Be First Six-Member ISS Crew
NASA announced this week the
crewmembers of the upcoming STS-127 space shuttle mission and the
Expedition 19 International Space Station mission. The STS-127
mission will deliver the final components of the Japan Aerospace
Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory to the station, while
Expedition 19 will double the size of the resident crew on the
complex, expanding it to six people.
Mark L. Polansky will command the shuttle Endeavour for STS-127,
targeted to launch in 2009. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Douglas G. Hurley
will serve as the pilot. Mission specialists are Navy Lt. Cmdr.
Christopher J. Cassidy, Thomas H. Marshburn, David A. Wolf and
Julie Payette, a Canadian Space Agency astronaut.
The mission will deliver Army Col. Timothy L. Kopra to the
station to join Expedition 18 as a flight engineer and science
officer and return Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata to Earth.
Hurley, Cassidy, Marshburn and Kopra will be making their first
trips to space.
STS-127 will launch and install the Kibo Japanese Experiment
Module Exposed Facility and Experiment Logistics Module Exposed
Section. The facility will provide a type of "front porch" for
experiments in the exposed environment, and a robotic arm that will
be attached to the Kibo Pressurized Module and used to position
experiments outside the station. The mission will include five
Polansky first flew as pilot of STS-98 in 2001 and then
commanded STS-116 in 2006. He considers Edison, NJ his hometown.
Polansky has bachelor's and master's degrees from Purdue
Expedition 19 will be commanded by cosmonaut and Russian Air
Force Col. Gennady Padalka. In March 2009, he will command the
Soyuz spacecraft that will launch him and astronaut Michael R.
Barratt to the station. Astronaut Nicole P. Stott will join them,
arriving on the STS-128 shuttle mission to replace Kopra. She will
serve as a flight engineer and science officer and return to Earth
on the next Soyuz spacecraft. Barratt and Stott will be making
their first trips to space.
In May 2009, cosmonaut and Russian Air Force Lt. Col. Yuri
Lonchakov will command a Soyuz spacecraft that will launch to join
Expedition 19 in progress on the station. With Lonchakov will be
European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne of Belgium and
Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert B. Thirsk. Their arrival
will expand the station's crew size to six for the first time.
Lonchakov and De Winne will serve as flight engineers on the
station and return on the Soyuz with Stott. Thirsk also will serve
as a flight engineer and will return to Earth on STS-129.
Expedition 19 will include visits by two space shuttle missions
that will equip the station with the additional facilities needed
to support a six-person crew. Expedition 19 also will prepare the
station for the later arrival of Russian research modules and
additional docking ports.
Padalka commanded Expedition 26 on Mir in 1998 and 1999, and
Expedition 9 on the ISS in 2004. He was born in Krasnodar, Russia,
and graduated from Eisk Military Aviation College.