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Mission or Study ID:   Expedition 17
International Space Station (ISS)
International Space Station
Launch/Start Date:
Landing/End Date:
198 days
STS-126 Crew Patch

Expedition Commander Sergei Volkov and Flight Oleg Kononenko launched on the Soyuz TMA-12 spacecraft on April 8, 2008 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Two days later, the crew docked with the orbiting laboratory's Pirs Docking Compartment. They were joined on the Soyuz by San Ko, who will spend 9 days on the complex under a contract signed with the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). Ko will return to Earth on the Soyuz TMA-11 capsule with the Expedition Sixteen crew who have been aboard the station since October 2007.

Once hatches were opened, Volkov and Kononenko were joined by Astronaut Garrett Reisman, their third Expedition Seventeen crewmember. Resiman launched to the station on Shuttle Endeavour's STS-123 mission in March 2008. He joined Expedition Sixteen in progress and will provide Expedition Seventeen with an experienced flight engineer for the early part of its increment. He will return to Earth aboard Shuttle Discovery's STS-124 mission. That flight will carry Astronaut Gregory E. Chamitoff who will replace Reisman as flight engineer during Expedition Seventeen.

Many experiments from earlier Expeditions remain on board the space station and will continue to benefit from the long-term research platform provided by the orbiting laboratory. Continuing experiments include:

  • Behavioral Issues Associated with Long Duration Space Missions: Review of Astronaut Journals (ILSRA-2001-104) uses journals kept by the crew and surveys to study the effect of isolation to obtain quantitative data on the importance of different behavioral issues in long-duration crews. Results will help design equipment and procedures to allow astronauts to best cope with isolation and long duration spaceflight.
  • Nutritional Status Assessment (SMO 016E) This experiment will help the science program plan countermeasures (exercise and pharmaceuticals) for nutritional changes during. In addition, increased understanding of the connections between nutrition and bone loss has potential value for patients suffering bone loss on Earth.
  • Physical Fitness Evaluation Oxygen Uptake Mass (PFEOUM) allows exercise physiologists and flight doctors to assess crew health and fitness and accurately prescribe exercise countermeasures for use onboard the ISS.
  • Space Flight Induced Reactivation of Epstein-Barr Virus (98-E129) performs tests to study changes in human immune function. Using blood and urine samples collected before and after space flight, the study will provide insight for possible countermeasures to prevent the potential development of infectious illness in crewmembers during flight.
  • Sleep-Wake Actigraphy and Light Exposure During Spaceflight (DSO 634)
  • Validation of Procedures for Monitoring Crewmember Immune Function (SMO 015) will assess the clinical risks resulting from the adverse effects of spaceflight on the human immune system.

Photo Gallery
Experiments on this Mission