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Mission or Study ID:   Expedition 31
International Space Station (ISS)
International Space Station
Launch/Start Date:
Landing/End Date:
65 days
ISS Expedition 31 Crew Patch

Expedition 31 was the thirty-first and current long-duration expedition to the International Space Station (ISS). It began on April 27, 2012, with the departure from the ISS of the Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft, which returned the Expedition 30 crew to Earth. The ISS was left under the command of Commander Oleg Kononenko (RSA), Andre Kuipers (ESA) and Don Pettit (NASA), who had arrived at the station aboard Soyuz TMA-03M on December 23, 2011.

The final three members of Expedition 31 – Acaba, Padalka and Revin – arrived at the ISS aboard Soyuz TMA-04M, which launched on 15 May 2012, and docked to the ISS on May 17, 2012.

SpaceX's unmanned Dragon spacecraft conducted a test rendezvous with the ISS during Expedition 31, as part of NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program; it was the first commercial spacecraft to rendezvous with the ISS. Following a series of delays, Dragon launched on May 22, 2012, and berthed successfully with the ISS on May 25, after conducting a series of orbital test manuevres. Dragon returned on May 31, 2012, and landed intact in the Pacific Ocean and was successfully recovered, allowing SpaceX to begin regular cargo flights to the ISS.

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Experiments on this Mission