There are big changes afoot for the International Space Station. Ten years after the first pieces arrived in low earth orbit, it will soon be home to six crewmembers. This is a shot of the Soyuz TMA-15 rocket carrying Expedition 20 to ISS from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 6:34 am EDT on Wednesday.
Expedition 20 will mark the start of six-person crew operations aboard the International Space Station. All five of the international partner agencies–NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency–will be represented on orbit for the first time.
Maybe now, after $100 billion spent, they can start doing some real science up there? Let’s hope that urine and sweat recycling system and the second toilet don’t…er…crap out. The alternatives are not very pleasant (you know, the Lisa Nowack method).