The Expedition 31 Crew
The Expedition 31 crew has completed its mission on the International Space Station. Crew members were from the United States, Russia and the Netherlands.
On Dec. 21, 2011, Oleg Kononenko, André Kuipers and Don Pettit launched in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. They docked with the space station two days later and joined the Expedition 30 crew. They stayed aboard to make up the first half of the Expedition 31 crew.
Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko was the Expedition 31 commander. He is from Russia. This was his second visit to the space station. He was a flight engineer during Expedition 17 in 2008. Kononenko always wanted to be a cosmonaut, even when he was a little boy. He thinks it is the best job on Earth.
Astronaut Don Pettit was an Expedition 31 flight engineer. He is from Oregon. During his free time on the space station, he conducted science experiments like growing seeds in microgravity. This was his third visit to the space station.
Astronaut André Kuipers was an Expedition 31 flight engineer. He is from the Netherlands. He conducted experiments to learn more about how the human body changes in microgravity. This was his second visit to the space station.
On May 14, 2012, Sergei Revin, Gennady Padalka and Joe Acaba launched to the space station in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. They joined the other three members of the Expedition 31 crew already on the station.
Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka was an Expedition 31 flight engineer. He is from Russia. He stayed on and became the Expedition 32 commander. This mission was his third stay on the space station. He has spent over 20 months in space!
Astronaut Joe Acaba was an Expedition 31 flight engineer. He is from California. This was his second trip to the space station. In 2009, he visited the space station during a mission on space shuttle Discovery. Before becoming an astronaut, he taught middle and high school students in Florida.
Cosmonaut Sergei Revin was an Expedition 31 flight engineer. He is from Russia. Before becoming a cosmonaut, he worked as an engineer. This mission was his first trip to space.
The Expedition 31 Mission Patch
The Expedition 31 crew designed a mission patch before flying into space. The mission patch is shaped like our galaxy, the Milky Way. The space station and ISS 31 are shown near the top. Earth, the moon, Mars and asteroids are in the middle of the patch. These are places we are exploring now and will explore in the future. The stars represent the members of the crew.
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