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New Commander on the Space Station

international space station expedition 38 expedition 39 nasa

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 12:10 PM


New Commander on the Space Station

Command of the International Space Station was passed from cosmonaut Oleg Kotov to Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency on March 9. The change of command makes Wakata, who will oversee Expedition 39, the first Japanese commander of the complex. He, NASA Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin will be joined on March 26 by NASA's Steve Swanson and cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Oleg Artemyev.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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#2    keninsc

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 07:48 AM

I have to admit I didn't know there was an actual commander on the ISS. However, it stands to reason that someone needs to be in charge.


#3    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 10:15 AM

View Postkeninsc, on 11 March 2014 - 07:48 AM, said:

I have to admit I didn't know there was an actual commander on the ISS. However, it stands to reason that someone needs to be in charge.

Generally the command alternates between the US and Russia, but the other agencies involved also get to command the ISS from time to time.

ESA astronaut Frank De Winne of Belgium commanded the station in 2009 and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield commanded the station last year. Now with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata in command all 5 agencies have commanded the ISS.

It's also worth noting that during launch and landing each Soyuz will also have a commander. The Soyuz commander will always be a Russian cosmonaut and will not necessarily be the station commander.

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#4    keninsc

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 11:17 AM

They did the same sort of thing during our early space program. There was always a mission commander. On Apollo, there was a mission commander, then a Command Module Pilot, not always the Mission commander. Then there was the LEM pilot, not always the mission commander.

I can see if the return craft is a Soyuz, the commander would be Russian. I'd assume the same thing would apply to American space craft......which we don't have right now.





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