ISS Expedition 56

Did you know humans have been living in space for almost 18 consecutive years aboard the International Space Station (ISS)? Members of the most recent ISS crew, expedition 56, are scheduled to return to Earth Oct. 4.

The expectation 56 crew includes NASA astronauts A.J. (Drew) Feustel (commander), Ricky Arnold and Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor, Roscomos Oleg Artemyev and Sergei Prokopyev and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst.

Watch the crew begin their journey back to Earth beginning at 11:30 a.m. (CST) Oct. 4 on NASA TV.

Feustel, Arnold and Artemyev, who launched to the ISS March 21, will leave the space station heading for a parachute-assisted landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan, southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan.

The crew is completing a 197-day mission spanning 3,152 orbits of Earth and a journey of 83.4 million miles. The expedition included investigations focusing on navigation, microbiology, physics and a variety of other science.

During their time on the orbiting laboratory, the crew carried out science experiments ranging from physics to biological studies and conducted tests to expand navigation capabilities in preparation for future travel far from Earth.

Education on station

The crew also participated in NASA’s Year of Education on Station, which links students on Earth directly to astronauts aboard the space station. While aboard the ISS, Arnold spoke to students at Space Center Houston.


The mission patch

ISS Expedition 56 mission patchThe Expedition 56 patch portrays a dove carrying an olive branch on its beak. The patch includes images of the Soyuz launch vehicle for the crew and the space station. The Expedition 56 astronauts’ names are displayed on the dove’s wings and along the limb of Earth at the base of the patch.

The dove’s tail is firmly planted on Earth to represent the strong link between our home planet and the humans who are sent into the cosmos. The patch illustrates hope for peace and love in the world, and the innate human desire to spread our wings and explore into the future, building on the wisdom of the past, for the betterment of humanity. The patch was designed by astronaut Drew Feustel’s son.

Top tweets

Space station astronauts share their unique perspectives on social media, including breathtaking photos of Earth. Check out some of our favorite Expedition 56 tweets below.