Resident Crews of the International Space Station (ISS)

ISS: Expedition 59

ISS Project Patch

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Patch ISS-59 Crew ISS-59

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crew poster

Patch Cygnus NG-11 (NASA) Patch Cygnus NG-11 (Northrop)

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Patch Dragon SpX-17 (NASA) Patch Dragon SpX-17 (SpaceX)

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Crew, launch- and landing data

No. Nation Surname Given names Position Spacecraft
1  Kononenko  Oleg Dmitriyevich  ISS-CDR  Soyuz MS-11  03.12.2018  11:31:52.519 UTC  Soyuz MS-11  25.06.2019  02:47:42.4 UTC  203d 15h 15m 50s  3264
2 Canada  Saint-Jacques  David  Flight Engineer-2  Soyuz MS-11  03.12.2018  11:31:52.519 UTC  Soyuz MS-11  25.06.2019  02:47:42.4 UTC  203d 15h 15m 50s  3264
3  McClain  Anne Charlotte "Annimal"  Flight Engineer-3  Soyuz MS-11  03.12.2018  11:31:52.519 UTC  Soyuz MS-11  25.06.2019  02:47:42.4 UTC  203d 15h 15m 50s  3264
4  Ovchinin  Aleksei Nikolaevich  Flight Engineer-4  Soyuz MS-12  14.03.2019  19:14:08.175 UTC  Soyuz MS-12  03.10.2019  10:59:21.4 UTC  202d 15h 45m 13s  3248
5  Hague  Tyler Nicklaus "Nick"  Flight Engineer-5  Soyuz MS-12  14.03.2019  19:14:08.175 UTC  Soyuz MS-12  03.10.2019  10:59:21.4 UTC  202d 15h 45m 13s  3248
6  Koch  Christina Hammock "Nana"  Flight Engineer-6  Soyuz MS-12  14.03.2019  19:14:08.175 UTC  Soyuz MS-13  06.02.2020  09:12:21 UTC  328d 13h 58m 13s  5248

unofficial Backup Crew

No. Nation Surname Given names Position
1  Skvortsov  Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Jr.  ISS-CDR
2 Italy  Parmitano  Luca Salvo  Flight Engineer
3  Morgan  Andrew Richard  Flight Engineer
4  Skvortsov  Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Jr.  Flight Engineer
5 Italy  Parmitano  Luca Salvo  Flight Engineer
6  Morgan  Andrew Richard  Flight Engineer
Crew ISS-59 (backup)

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Where is the ISS now?

Expedition Report

ISS Expedition 59 began with docking of Soyuz MS-12 on March 15, 2019 at 01:01:39 UTC. In the same moment the former Expedition 58 ended. Normally a new ISS Expedition begins with the undocking of the older Soyuz spacecraft. To return to the planned counting of the ISS Expeditions after the abort of Soyuz MS-10 the ISS managers decided to take this variant only for this time. Aleksei Ovchinin, Nicklaus Hague and Christina Koch became members of the resident crew (together with ISS-58 Commander Oleg Kononenko, Flight Engineer David Saint-Jacques and Flight Engineer Anne McClain.

The first spacewalk in Expedition 59 was performed on March 22, 2019 by Anne McClain and Nicklaus Hague (6h 39m). Anne McClain and Nicklaus Hague ventured outside the Quest airlock to install the adapter plates (75 pounds - 34 kg each) for the new batteries and to replace nickel-hydrogen batteries with newer, more powerful lithium-ion batteries (300 pounds - 136 kg each) for the power channel on one pair of the station's solar arrays, completing the upgrades to two station power channels.
In detail the astronauts successfully completed the installation and integration of Adapter Plates A, B, and C on the 4A Integrated Equipment Assembly (IEA). Two old Nickel Hydrogen (NiH2) batteries were stowed on top of Adapter plates A and B. The crew completed Channel 2A Battery preparations by releasing the 2A IEA H1 bolt for the NiH2 battery in Slot 2.
The equipment to be installed was delivered on a Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle cargo craft on September 27, 2018. The installation work began on Earth, when ground controllers used the station's robotic arm to replace old nickel-hydrogen batteries on the port truss of the complex with six new lithium-ion batteries.
Because there was more time the astronauts completed some additional tasks: The V-Guide Bag was deployed on the S0 starboard wedge face to relieve internal stowage space for the V-Guides. The Node 1 Nadir Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) Foreign Object Debris (FOD) was cleaned as well as the Solar Array Blanket Box (SABB) restraint get ahead tasks. The crew also performed the Truss Jumper imagery and the Airlock thermal cover imagery get ahead tasks.
It was the 214th spacewalk since station assembly began in 1998.

On March 23, 2019, an ISS reboost was performed using Progress MS-10 thrusters. This reboost was to set up for the flight Progress MS-11 on April 04, 2019. The engines started at 14:22 UTC and fired 342.3 seconds. The ISS got 0.69 m/sec. more speed. The actual parameters are 408.8 km x 428.8 km. The ISS needs 92.697 minutes for each orbit.

For a second EVA Nicklaus Hague and Christina Koch left the International Space Station using the Quest Airlock on March 29, 2019 (6h 45m). The two astronauts successfully connected three newer, more powerful lithium-ion batteries to replace the previous six nickel-hydrogen batteries that provide power for one channel on one pair of the station's solar arrays. The new batteries (300 pounds - 136 kg each) provide an improved and more efficient power capacity for operations.
The astronauts also did work to enable robotic specialists to remove one of the three new lithium ion batteries connected during March 22, 2019 spacewalk that is not charging properly and replace it with the two older nickel hydrogen batteries. The swap will restore a full power supply to that solar array power channel.
In addition, the astronauts also completed several tasks to prepare the worksite for future spacewalkers who will complete similar operations to upgrade the batteries for the set of solar arrays at the end of the port side of the station's backbone structure known as the truss. Nicklaus Hague inspected the worksite interfaces for a portable foot restraint a spacewalker uses to anchor themselves during the battery upgrade work while Christina Koch installed fabric handrails to help future spacewalkers move across the worksite.
This was intended as the first-ever spacewalk with all-female spacewalkers but Anne McClain had problems to fit in a different spacesuit.

The launch of the unpiloted Russian Progress MS-11 occurred on April 04, 2019 at 11:01:34.264 UTC from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The freighter delivers almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies to the International Space Station components for the life support system, as well as containers with food, clothing, medical supplies and personal hygiene items for the crewmembers are stowed in the cargo compartment.
The Progress MS-11 spacecraft docked to the Pirs docking compartment at the Russian segment at 14:22:27 UTC, April 04, 2019. Progress MS-11 remained docked at the station for almost four months before departing July, 29 2019 for its deorbit into Earth's atmosphere.

Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques left the International Space Station using the Quest Airlock on April 08, 2019 (6h 29m) to carry out the third spacewalk in this expedition. The astronauts laid out jumper cables between the Unity module and the S0 truss, at the midpoint of the station's backbone. This work will establish a redundant path of power to the Canadian-built robotic arm, known as Canadarm2. They also installed cables to provide for more expansive wireless communications coverage outside the orbital complex, as well as for enhanced hardwired computer network capability.

On April 17, 2019 at 20:46:11 UTC Northrop Grumman launched its Cygnus NG-11 ("S.S. Roger Chaffee") spacecraft on an Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's Pad-0A. The spacecraft was named for the late Apollo 1 astronaut who died in the pad fire on January 27, 1967. Cygnus carried about 7,600 pounds (3,450 kg) of science and research to the space station in support of dozens of research investigations, as well as crew supplies and hardware. Highlights of space station research that will be facilitated by research aboard this Cygnus are:
Models for growing increasingly complex materials: Advanced Colloids Experiment-Temperature-10 (ACE-T-10) will test gels in a microgravity environment. This research could aid in the development of increasingly complex materials that may serve as the building blocks for a range of applications on Earth including foods, drugs, and electronic devices. The process also may provide an efficient method to build new materials and equipment in space.
Better life science research in a few drops: Although the space station is well equipped for health and life sciences research, the equipment available for cellular and molecular biology still is limited compared to capabilities found in laboratories on Earth. To address this limitation, CSA designed Bio-Analyzer, a new tool the size of a video game console that astronauts on station easily can use to test body fluids such as blood, saliva, and urine, with just a few drops. It returns key analyses, such as blood cell counts, in just two to three hours, eliminating the need to freeze and store samples.
Analyzing aging of the arteries in astronauts: The Vascular Aging investigation uses ultrasounds, blood samples, oral glucose tolerance tests, and wearable sensors to study aging-like changes that occur in many astronauts during their stay on the space station. It's one of three Canadian experiments exploring the effects of weightlessness on the blood vessels and heart, and the links between these effects and bone health, blood biomarkers, insulin resistance, and radiation exposure. Increased understanding of these mechanisms can be used to address vascular aging in both astronauts and the aging Earth population.
Testing immune response in space: Spaceflight is known to have a dramatic influence on an astronaut's immune response, but there is little research on its effect following an actual challenge to the body's immune system. The rodent immune system closely parallels that of humans, and Rodent Research-12: Tetanus Antibody Response by B cells in Space (TARBIS) will examine the effects of spaceflight on the function of antibody production and immune memory. This investigation aims to advance the development of measures to counter these effects and help maintain crew health during future long-duration space missions. On Earth, it could advance research to improve the effectiveness of vaccines and therapies for treating diseases and cancers.
Big buzz for new robot: A fleet of small robots is set to take on big jobs aboard the space station. Building on the success of SPHERES, NASA will test Astrobee, a robotic system comprised of three cube-shaped robots and a docking station for recharging; the first two are aboard Cygnus. The free-flying robots use electric fans for propulsion and cameras and sensors help them navigate their surroundings. The robots also have an arm to grasp station handrails or grab and hold items. Astrobee can operate in automated mode or under remote control from the ground as it assists with routine chores on station, and requires no supervision from the crew. This has the potential to free up astronauts to conduct more research. On this mission, Northrop Grumman used a new late load capability. Previously, all cargo had to be loaded about four days prior to launch. This new capability will allow time-sensitive science experiments to be loaded into Cygnus just 24 hours before liftoff.
The Cygnus spacecraft arrived at the space station on April 19, 2019 at 09:28 UTC. Anne McClain grappled the spacecraft using the station's robotic arm. She was backed up by David Saint-Jacques. Nicklaus Hague monitored Cygnus systems during its approach. After capture, ground controllers commanded the station's arm to rotate and install Cygnus on the bottom of the station's Unity module (11:31 UTC).

NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX launched its 17th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station at 06:48:58 UTC on May 04, 2019. Loaded with almost 5,800 pounds (2,630 kg) of research, crew supplies and hardware, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft (CRS-17 or SpX-17) launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. Dragon delivered several science investigations to the space station in support the Expeditions 59 and 60. The spacecraft's unpressurized trunk transported NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3) and Space Test Program-Houston 6 (STP-H6).
OCO-3 was installed robotically on the exterior of the space station's Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility Unit, where it will measure and map carbon dioxide from space to increase our understanding of the relationship between carbon and climate. STP-H6 is an X-ray communication investigation that will be used to perform a space-based demonstration of a new technology for generating beams of modulated X-rays. This technology may be useful for providing efficient communication to deep space probes, or communicating with hypersonic vehicles where plasma sheaths prevent traditional radio communications.
Dragon reached its preliminary orbit about 10 minutes after launch. It then deployed its solar arrays and began a carefully choreographed series of thruster firings to reach the orbiting laboratory two days later on May 06, 2019.
When it arrived, David Saint-Jacques and Nicklaus Hague grappled Dragon (11.01 UTC). Christina Koch assisted the duo by monitoring telemetry during Dragon's approach. After Dragon's capture, ground controllers sent commands from mission control in Houston for the station's arm to rotate and install the spacecraft on the bottom of the station's Harmony module (13:32 UTC).
The Dragon spacecraft spent about four weeks attached to the space station. Dragon remained at the orbital outpost until June 03, 2019, when the spacecraft returned to Earth with research and return cargo.

On May 23, 2019, an ISS reboost was performed using Progress MS-10 thrusters. This reboost was to set up for the landing of Soyuz MS-11 on June 25, 2019. The engines started at 16:08 UTC and fired 1,196.2 seconds. The ISS got 2.55 m/sec. more speed. The actual parameters are 409.8 km x 428.6 km. The ISS needs 92.77 minutes for each orbit.

Oleg Kononenko and Aleksei Ovchinin performed the first Russian spacewalk in Expedition 59 on May 29, 2019 (6h 01m).
Shortly after beginning their spacewalk, Expedition 59 Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineer Aleksei Ovchinin recorded birthday greetings for the first person to spacewalk, Russian cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov. Aleksei Leonov’s 85th birthday is on May 30. On March 18, 1965, Aleksei Leonov became the first person to leave a spacecraft in a spacesuit to conduct a spacewalk, exiting the capsule during the Voskhod 2 mission for a 16-minute spacewalk. Kononenko and Ovchinin also added signs to the backs of their Orlan spacesuits to honor the first spacewalker. Oleg Kononenko’s suit with the red stripes bears a sign that says “1st spacewalker”, and the sign on Aleksei Ovchinin’s suit with the blue stripes says, “Happy birthday, Aleksei Arkhipovich,” Leonov’s family name.
They installed handrails on the Russian segment between Poisk and Zarya modules, removed the thermosensor TP228 to get a Soyuz MS life time of 370 days, retrieved results of the experiment "Test" from the surface of the Poisk module to assess the extent of possible micro-damage to the station envelope as a result of the adverse factors of space flight. Also, Oleg Kononenko and Aleksei Ovchinin cleaned the windows on the research module Poisk. The cosmonauts had to remove and jettison the Obstanovka experiment's PVK-1/ShKD-1 and PVK-2/ShKD-2 measurement units.

After delivering more than 5,800 pounds (2,630 kg) of cargo, a SpaceX Dragon (CRS-17 or SpX-17) cargo spacecraft departed the International Space Station on June 03, 2019. Flight controllers used the space station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to detach Dragon, which arrived on May 06, 2019, from the bottom of the station's Harmony module. After Dragon was maneuvered into place, the spacecraft was released by a ground-controlled command monitored by David Saint-Jacques at 16:01 UTC. Dragon's thrusters were fired to move the spacecraft a safe distance from the station before SpaceX flight controllers in Hawthorne, California, commanded its deorbit burn. The spacecraft splashed down on June 03, 2019 at about 21:48 UTC in the Pacific Ocean, where recovery forces retrieved Dragon and more than 4,000 pounds (1,814 kg) of cargo.

Filled with trash, the unpiloted Russian cargo ship Progress MS-10 undocked from the Zvezda module of the International Space Station at 08:40:30 UTC on June 04, 2019. On the same day Russian flight controllers sent commands to fire the Progress' engines and deorbit the space freighter, sending it to a destructive entry over the unpopulated South Pacific Ocean.

Finally, the station command changed from Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko to Russian cosmonaut Aleksei Ovchinin. With undocking of Soyuz MS-11, carrying Oleg Kononenko, David Saint-Jacques and Anne McClain, on June 24, 2019 at 23:25:33 UTC the Expedition 59 concluded and the new ISS Expedition 60 began.

Among the US experiments are:

Tissue Chips: A cutting-edge system for research is heading to the International Space Station, and could help save time and money for pharmaceutical development. Researchers are using a new technology called "tissue chips" that could offer more insights into predicting the effectiveness of potential pharmaceuticals in humans. Tissue chips are bioengineered devices that mimic the function of human organs. Fluid that mimics blood can be passed through the chip to simulate blood flow, and can include drugs or toxins. In microgravity, changes occur in human health and human cells that resemble accelerated aging and disease processes. This allows scientists to make observations over the course of a few weeks that might take months in a laboratory on Earth. This research may also help us advance tissue chip technologies for more efficient pharmaceutical testing on Earth, and could be used for understanding how diseases develop in healthy tissues.

Astrobee is NASA's next generation of free-flying robots aboard the International Space Station. The self-contained, cube-shaped robots are designed to help scientists and engineers develop and test technologies for use in microgravity to assist astronauts with routine chores, and give ground controllers additional eyes and ears on the space station. The autonomous robots, powered by fans and vision-based navigation, perform crew monitoring, sampling, logistics management, and accommodate up to three investigations. They are operated remotely from the ground.

Hermes is an experimental microgravity facility that enables science experiments, microgravity exposure testing, testing of engineering components, testing of CubeSats, concept trials, and any payloads that fit within the Hermes design and operations constraints. It is open to any investigation that benefits from microgravity exposure. Hermes is a microgravity facility for regolith research. Future missions, crewed and robotic, that visit small bodies should know how to interact with a loosely aggregated surface. Best way to sample material? How do you set anchors? How do you safely move and process material for "living off the land"? What materials properties should you expect for the surface? How much will fly free when disturbed? Experiments housed in Hermes could help answer these questions.

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 (OCO-3) is a space instrument designed to investigate important questions about the distribution of carbon dioxide on Earth as it relates to growing urban populations and changing patterns of fossil fuel combustion. OCO-3 will observe the complex dynamics of the Earth's atmospheric carbon cycle. OCO-3 continues the global carbon dioxide record started by OCO-2, but adds complementary information with sampling at all sunlit hours, a unique feature of sampling from orbiting laboratory. In addition to global sampling, OCO-3 capabilities allow for targeted local mapping of emissions hotspots. Understanding carbon sources and sinks can help in forecasting and reducing the long-term risks of increased atmospheric heat retention. OCO-3 also demonstrates how space platforms can be used to study the Earth's atmosphere and its effects on climate.

EVA data

  Name Start End Duration Mission Airlock Suit
EVA McClain, Anne 22.03.2019, 12:01 UTC 22.03.2019, 18:40 UTC 6h 39m ISS-59 ISS - Quest EMU No. 3008
EVA Hague, Nicklaus 22.03.2019, 12:01 UTC 22.03.2019, 18:40 UTC 6h 39m ISS-59 ISS - Quest EMU No. 3003
EVA Hague, Nicklaus 29.03.2019, 11:42 UTC 29.03.2019, 18:27 UTC 6h 45m ISS-59 ISS - Quest EMU No. 3006
EVA Koch, Christina 29.03.2019, 11:42 UTC 29.03.2019, 18:27 UTC 6h 45m ISS-59 ISS - Quest EMU No. 3008
EVA McClain, Anne 08.04.2019, 11:31 UTC 08.04.2019, 18:00 UTC 6h 29m ISS-59 ISS - Quest EMU No. 3008
EVA Saint-Jacques, David 08.04.2019, 11:31 UTC 08.04.2019, 18:00 UTC 6h 29m ISS-59 ISS - Quest EMU No. 3006
EVA Kononenko, Oleg 29.05.2019, 15:42 UTC 29.05.2019, 21:43 UTC 6h 01m ISS-59 ISS - Pirs Orlan-MKS No. 5
EVA Ovchinin, Aleksei 29.05.2019, 15:42 UTC 29.05.2019, 21:43 UTC 6h 01m ISS-59 ISS - Pirs Orlan-MKS No. 4


Life onboard ISS Soyuz MS-12
Milano at night Moscow at night
EVA preparations EVA McClain
EVA Hague and McClain Amman at night
Budapest at night Soyuz MS-12 at the ISS
EVA Koch and Hague solar panel
Dextre Progress MS-11 has docked
EVA McClain and Saint-Jacques EVA Saint-Jacques
Pizza on ISS Christina Koch in Destiny module
Christina Koch in Unity module Christina Koch and Anne McClain inside Kibo module
Nick Hague inside Unity module David Saint-Jacques inside Cupola
Cygnus NG-11 capture Cygnus NG-11 and Soyuz MS-12
JEM Airlock Baja California
Dragon SpX-17 arrival Destiny module
Zvezda module Rassvet module
EVA preparations to honor Aleksei Leonov
EVA Kononenko EVA Ovchinin
Crew ISS-59 Dragon CRS-17 bzw. SpX-17 departure

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Last update on December 15, 2020.