International Space Station crew to double from three to six soon

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Following the docking of Space Shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station, the Expedition 18 crew welcomes the STS-126 crewmembers aboard the orbital outpost.

This year is going to be an interesting one for the International Space Station as it doubles its crew from three to six. The article discusses the logistics involved in doubling crew size, but doesn't go over the psychological aspects of the doubling, which I've seen discussed a few times on the forums at (and unfortunately I can't remember where those threads were located). Generally after six months in space with the exact same three people every day, no matter how well you get along with them there's a huge excitement about the arrival of another group of people and the moment when the two crews meet up is always great.

This time, however, the crew won't be shrinking back down to three but will increase to a permanent crew of six. Mir had a crew of three, so this six-person crew is twice that as well.

The ISS is still pretty huge of course; take a look at this video to get an idea of what it looks like inside:


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