Alexander Gerst becomes ISS Commander

Date: Wed, Oct 03, 2018 | 14:10 - 14:30 GMT | 16:10 - 16:30 CEST

Type: ESA TV Live

Format: 16:9

Follow the live change of ISS Command Ceremony.

On 3rd October 2018, ESA astronaut Alex Gerst will take over command of the International Space Station Crew from the Increment 56 Commander US astronaut Drew Feustel. Alex will be commander for increment 57 ending in mid-December. He is the second European astronaut commander, Frank De Winne having taken command during increment 21.

Duties as a Commander start pre-mission with responsibility for ensuring that the increment crew are fully trained and competent for their assigned mission and work projects.

On orbit the title is correctly ISS crew commander. Because so many on-board systems and experiments are under ground-control, minute-to-minute command is from the Flight Director. The ISS crew commander’s minute-to-minute job is to ensure crew effectiveness and harmony in carrying out the mission.

With the large number of ‘visiting vehicles’ – and all the local station risks as those vehicles approach or move away from ISS, the commander is in charge of all on-board crew activity and operations during those critical manoeuvres. To that end, Commanders must train to be conversant with systems across both the Russian and US/International segments of the ISS.

In the event that communications with the ground are lost – the ISS crew commander is then responsible for whatever actions necessary for the safety of the crew and the station.

Change of Command normally happens hours or days ahead of the outgoing crew departing via Soyuz so that a new chain of command is clearly in place before the outgoing commander is concentrating on safe departure/de-orbit.

More information at:

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