Expedition 57: The Space Station Mission in Photos

Soyuz View of the International Space Station


When three Expedition 56 crewmembers left the International Space Station in their Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft on Oct. 4, 2018, they captured this gorgeous view of the orbiting lab on their way home. NASA astronauts Andrew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev flew around of the space station to take pictures before returning to Earth. The trio spent 197 days in space.

Closer Views


Through one of the cupola's seven windows, Japan's HTV-7 comes into view. On Earth, the coast of Canada above the Gulf of St. Lawrence is visible.

A Dangerous Area


Here on the Pripyat River in northern Ukraine, the radioactively affected area around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

The First Liftoff

Joel Kowsky/NASA

Onlookers watch as the Soyuz rocket rises into the atmosphere carrying Expedition 56/57 Soyuz Commander Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos, flight engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, and flight engineer Alexander Gerst of ESA to the International Space Station for a six-month stay.

The Core Crew


The core members of the Expedition 57 crew were actually part of its predecessor, the Expedition 56 crew. They are: Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev (bottom, NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor (center) and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst. Here, the trio wave farewell before launching into space on June 6, 2018.

A Bigger Expedition 57 Crew

Robert Markowitz/NASA

The Expedition 57 crew was originally supposed to include five members: the three that launched in June, and two more (NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin). But the Soyuz that launched launched Hague and Ovchinin on Oct. 11, 2018 failed during liftoff. The two men safely parachuted to Earth in their Soyuz capsule after an automatic launch abort and survived the ordeal unharmed. This official crew portrait, taken Oct. 11, 2017 in Building 8, Room 183, presents the Expedition 57 crewmembers: Alexander Gerst, Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Sergei Prokopev, Aleksey Ovchinin and Nick Hague.

Walking to the Launchpad

Victor Zelentsov/NASA

Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin (left) and NASA astronaut Nick Hague, shown here en route to their Soyuz rocket for an Oct. 11, 2018, launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, will fly again in spring. The pair's Soyuz rocket failed just after liftoff, sending them on a dramatic abort. Both men were unharmed.

Expedition 57 Crew's 2nd Launch

Bill Ingalls/NASA

This photo shows the launch of Expedition 57 crewmembers Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin just minutes before a booster failure triggered an automatic abort.

Booster Separation Failur

Bill Ingalls/NASA

This photo shows the messy first stage booster separation that led to the Soyuz launch abort for Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin. One of the Soyuz rocket's strap-on boosters hit the central core, causing the failur.


Bill Ingalls/NASA

Astronaut Nick Hague and his wife, Catie Hague, greet each other after his tumultuous launch. He and Alexey Ovchinin were recovered quickly after their emergency landing.

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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.