Little we think about what moves around the Earth. Your first thought would probably be the moon, but how often do you think about who is orbiting our planet. The answer, there are currently three astronauts aboard the International Space Station: Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, Peggy Whitson, and Jack Fischer.
Cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin has previously been on 4 flights accumulating more than 536 days, 2 hours and 31 minutes. Aboard the ISS, Yurchikhin checks on Russian science experiments as well as unloading new gear and food supplies aboard the Progress 67 (67P) resupply ship. 67P also brought oxygen used to repressurize the station’s atmosphere. Yurchikhin works on life support maintenance like transferring water from 67P to cargo craft Zvezda service module, as well as, doing work on air purification gear. Yurchikhin along with Whitson and Fischer take body measurements to help the research on how living in space affects body size.
Peggy A. Whitson (PH.D.) NASA Astronaut is currently on her third long-duration mission aboard the International Space Station. She was previously part of Expedition 50/51 which launched on November 17, 2016, with crewmates, Cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet. She previously completed two six-month tours aboard the ISS for Expedition 5 in 2002 and Expedition 16 in 2008 accumulating 377 days in space, the most for any U.S. woman.
Whitson is a record holder in several areas. In 2008 she became the first woman to command the space station and, on April 9, she became the first woman to command it twice. On March she “seized the record for most spacewalks by a female” with more than 53 hours. On April 24, 2017, she “surpassed astronaut Jeff William’s previous United States record of 534 days, 2 hours and 48 minutes of cumulative time in space.” She is now well beyond that additional minute that broke the record. Her mission was extended into September and will have spent a total of 650 days in space at the time she returns to Earth.
Jack D. Fischer (Colonel, U.S. Air Force) NASA Astronaut became a member of the 20th NASA Astronaut class in 2009 and completed the training on 2011. On April 20, 2017, he boarded the ISS as Flight Engineer For expedition 51/52. He is currently studying new methods of life support in space in the Capillary Structures for Exploration Life Support, among many other experiments with fellow crewmates.
Before becoming an astronaut, Fischer graduated as a member of the U.S. Air Force Academy Class of 1996 with a Bachelors of Science in Astronomical Engineering; received a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT in 1998.
Air Force Experience:
Fischer has attended the Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, the F-15E Strike Eagle training. He was assigned as an operational pilot in the 391st Fighter Squadron Bold Tigers serving two combat tours following September 11, 2001. He was selected for the U.S. Air Force Pilot School and graduated with Class 03-B on 2004. He “transitioned to F-15 and weapons testing with the 40th Flight Test Squadron Red Devils.” In 2006 he became part of the F-22 Combined Test Force and 411th Flight Test Squadron testing the F-22 Raptor.” He accumulated 3,00 flight hours in more than 45 aircraft.
In 2008 he was chosen for “in-residence Air Command and Staff College as a Strategic Policy Intern in Washington, D.C. He served two six-month rotations at the Pentagon; served in the Chairman Action Group for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and; served in the Space and Intelligence Capabilities Office.
On July 28, astronauts Randy Bresnik, Paolo Nespoli, and Sergey Ryazanskiy will join them aboard the ISS as Expedition 52/53 continues.