NASA names crew members for 2016 space station missions

Twelve astronauts from four space agencies are set to launch to the International Space Station next year.

Backdropped by Earth, the International Space Station is seen in an image taken by a crew member onboard the space shuttle Endeavour in this undated NASA handout photo.

NASA and its International Space Station partners have announced the names of the 12 astronauts who will fly the three missions to the orbital habitat in 2016.

Most of the astronauts – four from NASA, six from the Russian Federal Space Agency, one from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and one from the European Space Agency – will likely stay aboard the space station for six months. Every three months, a Soyuz capsule will deliver three more astronauts and return three back to Earth. The first mission of 2016, Expedition 48, launches in March.

On its website, NASA lists a total of 43 "active" astronauts eligible for flight assignment. Of those, the site lists seven who have yet to go into space. 

Here is NASA's crew roster:

The crew comprising Expedition 48 will be:

  • Jeff Williams, NASA
  • Alexey Ovchinin, Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos)
  • Oleg Skripochka, Roscosmos
  • Kate Rubins, NASA
  • Anatoly Ivanishin, Roscosmos
  • Takuya Onishi, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
  • The crew comprising Expedition 49 will be:

    • Anatoly Ivanishin, Roscosmos
    • Kate Rubins, NASA
    • Takuya Onishi, JAXA
    • Shane Kimbrough, NASA
    • Andrey Borisenko, Roscosmos
    • Sergey Ryzhikov, Roscosmos

    The crew comprising Expedition 50 will be:

    • Shane Kimbrough, NASA
    • Andrey Borisenko, Roscosmos
    • Sergey Ryzhikov, Roscosmos
    • Peggy Whitson, NASA
    • Oleg Novitskiy, Roscosmos
    • Thomas Pesquet, European Space Agency

    Think you've got the right stuff? Check out NASA's guide to selection and training to get a sense of how the space agency chooses and molds its astronauts.

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