Expedition 55 begins with the undocking of the Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft from the International Space Station (ISS) on February 27, 2018. Returning to Earth will be Expedition 54 commander, Alexander Misurkin (RSA), and flight engineers Joseph Acaba (NASA) and Mark Vande Hei (NASA). Remaining on board to operate the station and continue the many research studies will be Expedition 55 commander Anton Shkaplerov (RSA), and flight engineers Scott Tingle (NASA) and Norishige Kanai (JAXA).
Several weeks later, the Expedition 55 crew will be expanded to six with the arrival of crewmates Andrew Feustel (NASA), Oleg Artemyev (RSA), and Richard Arnold (NASA). Launch is expected to occur on March 21, 2018 with arrival at the ISS two days later.
In addition to operating and maintaining the station, crewmembers will perform hundreds of technological demonstrations and science research experiments. Also, Ricky Arnold will participate in several dozen educational events, continuing the Year of Education begun by Joe Acaba.