The International Space Station partners have announced crew changes in the missions to the International Space Station for 2017, meaning that ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli will now fly with a different crew.
Expedition 51/52 with NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin will be launched in March and join ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet in space, who will go aloft next week.
In May, Expedition 52/53 will fly with NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli and cosmonaut commander Sergei Ryazansky on Soyuz MS-05.
This week’s launch with NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, Thomas and cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky is unchanged and scheduled for 17 November at 20:20 GMT from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Paolo’s third flight
Paolo’s first spaceflight was his two-week Esperia mission on the Space Shuttle’s STS-120 in 2007. One of his main tasks was to help install the Node-2 module on the Space Station.
He returned to the Station in 2010 for ESA’s 160 day MagISStra mission as part of Expeditions 26 and 27. In addition to his many experiments, he was involved in the dockings of two cargo craft: Europe’s second Automated Transfer Vehicle and Japan’s second HII Transfer Vehicle.
Paolo then worked at ESA’s centre in Italy and at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany. He recently began training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre near Moscow, Russia, for his new adventure.