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NASA Names International Space Station Crews Through 2014

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The International Space Station is gearing up for a busy future on orbit, and NASA, together with their other station partners, recently announced the roster of astronauts and cosmonauts who will live and work aboard the massive orbiting complex beginning in 2013.

With NASA's space shuttle program set to end later this year, the crewmembers of these future missions will all journey to the International Space Station in Russian Soyuz spacecraft. The list is a diverse group of spaceflyers who will perform valuable science and help maintain the station in the years to come. 

Construction of the $100 billion International Space Station began in 1998 and is expected to end by 2012. The space station is the product of five different space agencies representing 15 countries, and can sustain up to six crewmembers at a time.

The space station is about as long as a football field and has about the same amount of living space as a Boeing 747 jumbo jet, or a five-bedroom house, NASA officials have said. It can be easily visible from the ground with the naked eye and can sometimes rival Venus in brightness.
NASA currently plans to operate the space station through at least 2020. At the end of its operational life, the station will be decommissioned by burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.

The 35th crew to inhabit the space station, Expedition 35, will begin after the undocking of the Soyuz 32 vehicle in March 2013. Soyuz 34 will then launch later that month with three new crewmembers to join the other three station residents left behind.

The following spaceflyers will make up the station's Expedition 35:
* Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, station commander
* NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, flight engineer
* Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, flight engineer
* NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, flight engineer
* Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov, flight engineer
* Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, flight engineer

Expedition 36 will begin with the undocking of the Soyuz 33 spacecraft in May 2013. Command of the space station will be handed over to cosmonaut Vinogradov, and three new crewmembers, listed below, will launch aboard a Soyuz 35 vehicle to round out the Expedition 36 crew:
* Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov, station commander
* Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, flight engineer
* NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, flight engineer
* NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg, flight engineer
* Russian cosmonaut Maxim Suraev, flight engineer
* European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano, flight engineer

Expedition 37 will begin with the undocking of the Soyuz 34 in September 2013. Soyuz 36 is scheduled to launch that month with NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins who will join the three station residents already onboard. Expedition 37 will consist of:
* Russian cosmonaut Maxim Suraev, station commander
* NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg, flight engineer
* European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano, flight engineer
* NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins, flight engineer

Expedition 38 will begin with the undocking of the Soyuz 35 in November 2013. Soyuz 37 is scheduled to launch that month with the crew members identified below. Expedition 38 will be made up of:
* NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins, flight engineer
* NASA astronaut Richard Mastracchio, flight engineer
* Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata, flight engineer

Expedition 39 will begin with the undocking of the Soyuz 36 in March 2014. 

At that time, Wakata will serve as the commander of the space station, and Mastracchio will be a flight engineer. The remainder of the Expedition 39 crew has yet to be assigned. Additional crewmembers for Expeditions 37 and 38 will be selected from the Russian cosmonaut corps and will be assigned at a later date.

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