Expedition 56

Expedition 56 was the 56th expedition to the International Space Station, which began on 1 June 2018 upon the departure of Soyuz MS-07. Andrew Feustel, Oleg Artemyev, and Richard R. Arnold were transferred from Expedition 55, with Andrew Feustel taking the commander role. Alexander Gerst, Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor, and Sergey Prokopyev launched aboard Soyuz MS-09, on June 6, 2018.[1][2] Expedition 56 ended with the departure of Soyuz MS-08 on 4 October 2018.

ISS Expedition 56
Mission typeISS Expedition
Mission duration124d 13h 30m (Change Of Command to Soyuz MS-08 Undocking) 122d 22h 41m (Official)
Space StationInternational Space Station
Began1 June 2018 (Change of Command)
3 June 2018 (Official) UTC
Ended4 October 2018 UTC
Arrived aboardSoyuz MS-08
Soyuz MS-09
Departed aboardSoyuz MS-08
Soyuz MS-09
Crew size6
MembersAndrew Feustel
Oleg Artemyev
Richard R. Arnold
Alexander Gerst
Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor
Sergey Prokopyev

(l-r) Artemyev, Feustel, Arnold, Prokopyev, Gerst, and Auñón-Chancellor


Position First part

(June 2018)

Second part

(June–October 2018)

Commander Andrew Feustel, NASA
Third spaceflight[3]
Flight Engineer 1 Oleg Artemyev, RSA
Second spaceflight
Flight Engineer 3 Richard R. Arnold, NASA
Second spaceflight[4]
Flight Engineer 4 Sergey Prokopyev, RSA
First spaceflight
Flight Engineer 5 Alexander Gerst, ESA
Second spaceflight[5]
Flight Engineer 6 Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor, NASA
First spaceflight[6]

Originally NASA Astronaut Jeanette Epps was assigned as flight engineer for Expeditions 56 and 57, becoming the first African American space station crew member[7] and the 15th African American to fly in space, but on January 16, 2018, NASA announced that Epps had been replaced by her backup Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor with no announced explanation as to why.[8][9]


EVA # Spacewalkers Start (UTC) End (UTC) Duration
Expedition 56
Andrew J. Feustel

Richard R. Arnold

June 14, 2018


June 14, 2018


6 hours 49 minutes
Feustel and Arnold installed new high-definition cameras near IDA 2 mated to the front end of the station's Harmony module. The additions will provide enhanced views during the final phase of approach and docking of the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing CST 100 Starliner commercial crew spacecraft that will soon begin launching from American soil.

The astronauts also swapped out a camera assembly on the starboard truss of the station used to film NASA TV and closed an aperture door on the CATS experiment outside the Japanese Kibo module in preparation for disposal on SpaceX CRS 15 and replacement by its successor, ECOSTRESS. Get aheads involved relocating an adjustable grapple bar to the S1 Truss and securing the Flex Hose Rotary Coupler in preparation for replacement on the next spacewalk. During the spacewalk Feustel beat Jerry Ross, his STS 125 crewmate Dr. John Grunsfeld, Fyoder Yurchikhin, and Peggy Whitson to become third on the list of all time space walkers.[10]

Expedition 56
EVA 2*
Oleg Artemyev

Sergey Prokopyev

August 15, 2018


August 15, 2018


7 hours 46 minutes
The cosmonauts launched four cubesats and installed the Icarus experiment. Spacewalk fell behind schedule when Icarus failed to seat properly putting the spacewalk 90 minutes behind schedule and calling for an hour extension. The cosmonauts finished the spacewalk by retrieving experiments from the Pirs docking compartment and Poisk module[11]

*denotes spacewalks performed from the Pirs docking compartment in Russian Orlan suits.
All other spacewalks were performed from the Quest airlock.

Uncrewed spaceflights to the ISS

Resupply missions that visited the International Space Station during Expedition 56:

- ISS flight number
Country Mission Launcher Launch
Duration (Docked) Deorbit
SpaceX CRS-15
- CRS SpX-15
 United States Logistics Falcon 9 29 June 2018, 09:42 2 July 2018, 13:50 3 August 2018, 16:38 32d 2h 48m 3 August 2018, 22:17
Progress MS-09
- ISS 70P
 Russia Logistics Soyuz-2.1a 9 July 2018, 21:51:34 10 July 2018, 01:30:48 25 January 2019, 12:55 199d 11h 24m 25 January 2019, 16:50
Kounotori 7
- HTV-7
 Japan Logistics H-IIB 22 September 2018, 17:52:27 27 September 2018, 14:09 6 November 2018, 23:32 40d 9h 23m 10 November 2018, 21:14


On August 29, 2018, a small leak was detected through a drop in air pressure by the flight controllers. After learning about the leak upon waking up, the astronauts discovered a 2 mm hole in the orbital module of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft. The hole was initially repaired with tape, followed by a permanent repair with gauze and epoxy.[12][13]


  1. "Future Expeditions". NASA. 8 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  2. "Expedition 55 Mission Summary" (PDF). NASA. 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  3. "Andrew J. Feustel (PH.D.) NASA Astronaut". NASA. 3 August 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  4. "Richard R. Arnold II NASA Astronaut". NASA. 6 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  5. "Alexander Gerst". ESA. 9 February 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  6. "Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor (M.D.) NASA Astronaut". NASA. 3 August 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  7. Karen Northon (January 4, 2017). "NASA Assigns Upcoming Space Station Crew Members". NASA press release 17-001. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
  8. Karen Northon (January 18, 2018). "NASA Announces Updated Crew Assignments for Space Station Missions". NASA press release 18-004. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
  9. "NASA removes astronaut Jeanette Epps, Syracuse high school grad, from flight crew". syracuse.com. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  10. Garcia, Mark (June 14, 2018). "Spacewalkers Complete HD Camera Installation Work". NASA.
  11. Richardson, Derek (August 16, 2018). "Russian spacewalk runs into overtime during 'Icarus' experiment installation". Orbital Velocity.
  12. Garcia, Mark (August 30, 2018). "International Space Station Status". Blogs. NASA. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  13. Foust, Jeff (August 30, 2018). "ISS leak highlights concerns about orbital debris and station operations". SpaceNews. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
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