International Space Station (ISS) is ready to welcome yet another group of astronauts aboard on March 23, Friday. Three individuals will be launched to the ISS on Soyuz capsule on Wednesday, March 21 from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome after which, the crew will dock to the ISS on Wednesday, March 23 on a trip to ISS. The Expedition 55-56 will carry two astronauts from NASA named Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and a cosmonaut from Russian space agency Roscosmos named Oleg Artemyev who will join the crew of Expedition 55 onboard ISS.
The trip to ISS is destined to conduct various experiments living in microgravity while the crew which is already present on the space station has already conducted a series of experiments and still have more to complete. Commander Antop Shkaplerov and Flight Engineers Norishige Kanai and Scott Tingle have been studying how plants adapt to gravity and other experiments. According to a popular newspaper, the crew of Expedition 55 has already made changes to the JEM Airlock to support an upcoming experiment.
Astronauts are conducting an experiment ‘Materials on ISS Experiment – Flight Facility (MISSE-FF) payload operations which includes placing sample plates comprising of various space materials where one face of the container will be towards Earth and another will be towards space. This would enable the scientists to gauge the effects of space on materials and help future satellites. NASA has set up a number of experiments on materials in space and has found incredible data that will help the future spacecraft and probes to be built using material that can sustain in the harsh environment of the space.
The existing crew on ISS performed some combustion experiments too as well as looking after the orbital space station and maintaining it until further expeditions are being conducted. According to the official manifest, the Expedition 55-56 will carry experiments on Earth atmospherics, materials responses to space environments, effects of microgravity on bone marrow as well as the responses of the biological sample to simulated gravity and others. The mission will also include at least two spacewalks as per the manifest.