ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst (DE) is assigned to fly on the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft to the International Space Station, scheduled for launch in June 2018. His crew mates will be NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Russian spacecraft commander Sergei Prokopyev.
Expedition 56 is scheduled to begin with the undocking of Soyuz MS-07, with the new crew members arriving shortly thereafter on Soyuz MS-09. Expedition 56 consists of NASA's Drew Feustel, Ricky Arnold and Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Sergei Prokopyev, and ESA's Alexander Gerst.
Designed by Luc van den Abeelen, the circular shape of the Soyuz MS-09 crew patch symbolises the shape of the globe, inside of which the Belukha mountain is visible: the highest peak of the Altai, representing the crew's callsign. A trio of white swans flying over Earth towards the International Space Station symbolise the three crew members. The six stars shown against the black background of space are for the members making up the successive ISS Expedition crews. The golden silhouette of the orbital outpost is shown at the top of the emblem. Below are the numbers of the main expeditions.
The Roscosmos logo is placed in the middle of the inscription 'Soyuz MS-09'. The crew members' names are put along the emblem's inner border with the crew commander's name underneath the flying spaceship Soyuz. The outer border is made up of the astronauts' national flags.