Alexander Gerst ready for orbit


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ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst and crewmates cosmonaut Maxim Suraev and NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman have passed their last exams – they are now ready for their trip to the International Space Station on 28 May.

The crew had two full-day exams on the Russian part of the Space Station through simulations that test their responses and knowledge. To begin, the commander chooses an unmarked, sealed envelope holding scenarios to be played out.

 

Alexander has been in training continuously since he was assigned to the European astronaut corps in 2009.

Having passed this milestone, the astronauts have three weeks before being launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Traditional ceremonies and a period of quarantine are all that remains before the big countdown.

Last week, the crew visited Red Square in Moscow, Russia, to pay homage to fallen cosmonauts and signed a memorial book at the Yuri Gagarin museum.

Crew change

Three astronauts currently living on the Space Station are set to return to Earth today, leaving behind their colleagues Alexander Skvortsov, Oleg Artemyev and Steve Swanson. Alexander’s Soyuz will dock in the morning of 29 May.

Also passing their exams this week was the backup crew of ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, NASA astronaut Terry Virts and cosmonaut commander Anton Shkaplerov. They crew will be launched in November as Expedition 42, once Expedition 40/41 are back on Earth.

 

Also passing their exams this week was the backup crew of ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, NASA astronaut Terry Virts and cosmonaut commander Anton Shkaplerov. They crew will be launched in November as Expedition 42, once Expedition 40/41 are back on Earth.

Alexander’s Blue Dot mission will keep him busy with many scientific experiments, a spacewalk and four different supply spacecraft visiting the Station during his stay.

 

 

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