Mission or Study ID: Expedition 66
International Space Station (ISS)
International Space Station
Expedition 66 began with the undocking of the Soyuz MS-18 from the International Space Station (ISS) on October 17, 2021, returning Oleg Novitskiy (RSA) and two spaceflight participants to Earth.
Remaining on the station under the command of Thomas Pesquet (ESA) were Shane Kimbrough (NASA), Megan McArthur (NASA), Akihiko Hoshide (JAXA), Mark Vande Hei (NASA), Pyotr Dubrov (RSA), and Anton Shkaplerov (RSA).
Pesquet turned command of the station over to Shkaplerov shortly before the Crew-2 crew was expected to undock from the station, bringing Pesquet, Kimbrough, McArthur, and Hoshide home. After several delays due to high winds in the Florida recovery zone, Crew-2 returned for a nighttime splashdown on November 8.
The third operational mission utilizing the SpaceX Crew Dragon, Crew-3, launched on November 11. With the arrival of the Crew-3 crew including NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron, and ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer, the Expedition 66 crew was complete.
While operating and maintaining the space station's systems, the Expedition 66 crew continued to operate the many science experiments in progress as well as initiating new investigations and undertaking technology demonstrations.
Crewmembers completed several spacewalks and welcomed multiple resupply vehicles. In addition, space tourists visited the ISS for 11 days in December. However, the first private mission to the ISS, the AX-1 mission by Axiom Space, did not occur as planned.
As the transition from Expedition 66 to Expedition 67 approached, three new crewmembers arrived and three prepared to depart the station. The Soyuz MS-21 docked to the station on March 18, bringing Oleg Artemyev (RSA), Denis Matveev (RSA), and Sergey Korsakov (RSA) to the station.
Then, with preparations to return home complete, Shkaplerov turned command over to Marshburn on March 29. Shkaplerov and two “extended duration” (Expeditions 64, 65, and 66) crewmembers, Mark Vande Hei and Pyotr Dubrov, undocked their Soyuz MS-19 from the station and returned to Earth on March 30, 2022, bringing Expedition 66 to an end.