International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 61 began October 3, 2019 with six crew on board, including Expedition 61 Commander, Luca Parmitano (ESA), Aleksandr Skvortsov (RSA), Andrew Morgan (NASA), Christina Koch (NASA), Oleg Skripochka (RSA), and Jessica Meir (NASA). It is notable that Parmitano is the first Italian astronaut to command the ISS.
Though the crew will continue performing more than two hundred technological demonstrations and science research experiments while operating and maintaining the station, this mission will be known for its ambitious spacewalk schedule.
Ten complex spacewalks will be undertaken by the crew over a three month period. The first five spacewalks will be used to replace twelve batteries that store power generated by the station’s solar arrays. The second five spacewalks will see the crew making repairs to the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.
Expedition 61 is expected to end in early February, 2020.