Expedition 63 to the International Space Station began in April 2020, after the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft arrived at the orbiting lab with NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy (left) and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin (center) and Ivan Vagner.
The three-person Expedition 63 will be joined by NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who will arrive May 28 with the first crewed test flight of SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft. If all goes well with SpaceX's demonstration mission, the first operational Crew Dragon flight could bring three more crewmembers to the space station before the end of Expedition 63, which is scheduled to last until October. See photos of the Expedition 63 mission in this Space.com gallery.
The Expedition 63 prime crewmembers pose for a photo at the Garagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, on Nov. 12, 2019. From left: NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner.
The official insignia for Expedition 63.
Prior to their scheduled April 9, 2020 launch, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, the prime crewmembers for Expedition 63, arrive at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, for qualification exams on March 11.
The Expedition 63 backup crewmembers — NASA astronaut Steve Bowen and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrei Babkin — pose for photos in front of a Soyuz trainer on March 11, 2020.
Expedition 63 prime crewmembers pose with the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft during pre-launch training activities at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. From left: Ivan Vagner, Anatoly Ivanishin and Chris Cassidy.
As the prime crewmembers flew to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the trio affixed their mission insignia on the wall of the plane on March 24.
At the Cosmonaut Hotel crew quarters in Kazakhstan, Expedition 63 crewmembers, both prime and backup, participate in pre-launch activities. From left to right are Chris Cassidy, Anatoly Ivanishin, Ivan Vagner, and backup crewmembers Andrei Babkin, Sergey Ryzhikov and Steve Bowen.
On April 9, 2020, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and his Russian crewmates Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner of Roscosmos, journey from building 254 to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Prior to launching to the International Space Station on April 9, 2020, Expedition 63 crewmembers report to Roscomos Director General Dmitry Rogozin.
On April 9, 2020, the three-person crew of Expedition 63 lifted off in their Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft atop a Soyuz rocket from Launch Site 31 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The Soyuz MS-16 carrying NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner approaches the International Space Station while orbiting over the coast of Peru, on April 9, 2020.
Once aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 63 crewmembers pose for photos with Expedition 62 crewmembers after Roscosmos' Oleg Skripochka (bottom right) handed over station command to NASA's Chris Cassidy (bottom left). Expedition 62 returned to Earth on April 17, 2020.
Above Skripochka are NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan. On the left, above Cassidy, are Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner.
On board the International Space Station on April 16, 2020, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy shows a meal packet left for him by European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano, who returned to Earth Feb. 6, 2020. Cassidy and Parmitano were crewmates during the Expedition 36 mission in 2013.
Expedition 62 crewmembers Jessica Meir, Drew Morgan and Oleg Skripochka begin their return journey to Earth on April 17, 2020, as the Soyuz MS-15 crew ship undocks from the Zvezda service module.
Roscosmos cosmonaut Antaoly Ivanishin, Expedition 63 flight engineer, practices remote spacecraft maneuvering techniques in the Zvezda service module on the Tele-Operated Robotics Unit (TORU), which enables a cosmonaut to dock a Russian spacecraft manually.
Expedition 63 flight engineer Ivan Vagner practices remote spacecraft maneuvering techniques in the Zvezda service module on the Tele-Operated Robotics Unit (TORU).
Expedition 63 Cmdr. Chris Cassidy connects water umbilicals and checks for leaks in the Combustion Integrated Rack at the International Space Station. This research device allows for safe fuel, flame and soot studies to be conducted in microgravity.
Inside the Columbus laboratory module of the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy cleans botany research hardware after growing lettuce and mizuna greens.
Inside the Kibo laboratory module of the International Space Station, Expedition 63 Cmdr. Chris Cassidy sets up and Astrobee robotic assistant for mobility and vision system tests, on April 30, 2020.
On May 4, 2020, cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner practice CPR during an emergency training session. Space station crews regularly train for emergency scenarios to be prepared.
Inside the Quest airlock of the International Space Station, Expedition 63 Cmdr. Chris Cassidy of NASA cleans does routine maintenance on the U.S. spacesuits.
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- In Photos: The Expedition 62 mission to the International Space Station