Expedition 56: The Space Station Mission in Photos

Making Their Mark

Victor Zelentsov/NASA

Expedition 56 crewmembers Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos (left), Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency (center) and Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA (right) pose for a photo after adding their own crew insignia decals to the cabin wall aboard the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center aircraft.

Rehearsal Time

Victor Zelentsov/NASA

On May 20, 2018, Expedition 56 crewmember Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA, participates in the first fit check dress rehearsal activities.

Step One

Victor Zelentsov/NASA

As part of the first fit check dress rehearsal, Expedition 56 crewmember Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA runs through procedures inside the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft inside the Integration Facility at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Paying Tribute

Victor Zelentsov/NASA

In Baikonur, Kazakhstan, backup cremembers for Expedition 56 contemplate and offer flowers at the statue of Sergei Korolev, the Russian space designer icon.

Learning About Past

Victor Zelentsov/NASA

On May 21, 2018, backup crewmembers for Expedition 56 participate in pre-launch activities during a tour of the Baikonur museum.

Watching the Arrival

Joel Kowsky/NASA

On Jun. 4, 2018, a train pulls the Soyuz rocket out to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, as Expedition 56 backup crewmembers — from left, NASA's Anne McClain, Roscosmos' Oleg Kononenk and CSA's David Saint-Jacques — watch.

Photos for the Press

Joel Kowsky/NASA

Following a press conference at the Cosmonaut Hotel in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, Expedition 56 prime crewmembers — flight engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, left, Soyuz Commander Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos, center, and flight engineer Alexander Gerst of ESA — pose for a photo.

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Christine Lunsford
Producer and Contributing Writer

Christine Lunsford joined the Space.com team in 2010 as a freelance producer and later became a contributing writer, covering astrophotography images, astronomy photos and amazing space galleries and more. During her more than 10 years with Space.com, oversaw the site's monthly skywatching updates and produced overnight features and stories on the latest space discoveries. She enjoys learning about subjects of all kinds.