Astronauts Selected For Year-long Expedition 45 Mission
October 1, 2013

NASA Announces Expedition 45 Crew Members

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

NASA astronaut Tim Kopra and European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake will be part of the International Space Station’s (ISS) Expedition 45 crew, the US space agency announced on Monday.

Kopra and Peake are scheduled to launch in December 2015 and will return to Earth in spring 2016, NASA said. They will join their fellow Expedition 45 crew members in orbit and will remain there as part of Expedition 46 with yearlong expedition Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Mikhail Kornienko.

Kopra, a former US Army helicopter pilot, previously served as a flight engineer aboard the ISS as part of the Expedition 20 crew from May 27, 2009 to October 11, 2009. During his time on the space station, he performed one spacewalk totaling five hours and two minutes, executed assembly tasks with the space station and Japanese robotic arms, and conducted numerous science experiments.

Peake, a former British Army helicopter pilot and a graduate of the Royal Military Academy, will be participating in his first ever spaceflight. He was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009 and completed Astronaut Basic Training in November 2010. He is also Eurocom certified, which allows him to be in charge of communication between the astronauts in orbit and Europe’s Mission Control Center.

Kelly was a member of STS-103, an eight-day mission in which he helped install new instruments and upgrade systems on the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as STS-118, the 22nd flight to the ISS. During the latter mission, he and the crew of Space Shuttle Endeavour successfully added another truss segment, a new gyroscope and an external spare parts platform to the orbiting laboratory.

“On October 7, 2010, Kelly launched aboard the Soyuz TMA-M spacecraft to serve a tour of duty on the ISS,” the US space agency said. “He assumed command of Expedition 26 once the Soyuz TMA-19 undocked on November 24, 2010. After a 159 day stay aboard the ISS, Commander Kelly and Russian Flight Engineers Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka safely landed their Soyuz spacecraft on the Kazakhstan Steppe on March 16, 2011.”

Borisovich completed his first spaceflight as a Soyuz TMA-18 and ISS-23 flight engineer from April 2, 2010 through September 25, 2010. He has logged a total of 176 days, one hour and 18 minutes in space, including a six-hour, 43-minute spacewalk. In April 2011, he was presented the Golden Star of the Hero of the Russian Federation.

On Sunday morning, Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus spacecraft successfully docked with the space station. Cygnus delivered about 1,300 pounds of cargo to the orbiting laboratory, including student experiments, food and clothing, and became the second commercially-developed spacecraft to dock with to the ISS.

“Space history was again made today,” Assistant to the President for Science and Technology John P. Holdren said in a statement following the successful rendezvous. “I am proud of the engineers and scientists – both from NASA and Orbital Sciences – who contributed to this success. Together, we're opening up the aperture of what we can accomplish in space through public-private partnerships and demonstrating that American innovation continues to lead the world.”