Expedition 20

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ISS Expedition 20
Expedition 20 crew poster.jpg
Promotional Poster
Mission typeISS Expedition
Mission duration5 Months
Space stationInternational Space Station
Began29 May 2009, 12:34 (2009-05-29UTC12:34Z) UTC[1]
Ended11 October 2009 (2009-10-12)
Arrived aboardExp 19/20: Soyuz TMA-14
Exp 20/21: Soyuz TMA-15
Wakata: STS-119
Space Shuttle Discovery
Kopra: STS-127
Space Shuttle Endeavour
Stott: STS-128
Space Shuttle Discovery
Departed aboardExp 19/20: Soyuz TMA-14
Exp 20/21: Soyuz TMA-15
Wakata: STS-127
Space Shuttle Endeavour
Kopra: STS-128
Space Shuttle Discovery
Stott: STS-129
Space Shuttle Atlantis
Crew size8
MembersGennady Padalka*
Michael Barratt*
Koichi Wakata* (May–July)
Timothy Kopra (July–August)
Nicole Stott† (August–October)
Frank De Winne
Roman Romanenko
Robert Thirsk
* – transferred from Expedition 19
† – transferred to Expedition 21
EVA duration5 hours, 6 minutes
ISS Expedition 20 Patch.svg
Expedition 20 mission patch
The ISS Expedition 20.jpg
Front Row: Frank De Winne, Gennady Padalka, Roman Romanenko
Back Row: Robert Thirsk, Michael Barratt, Nicole Stott, Timothy Kopra, Koichi Wakata 

Expedition 20 was the 20th long-duration flight to the International Space Station. The expedition marked the first time a six-member crew inhabited the station. Because each Soyuz-TMA spacecraft could hold only three people, two separate launches were necessary: Soyuz TMA-14 launched on 26 March 2009, and Soyuz TMA-15 followed on 27 May 2009.[1]

Soyuz TMA-15 launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome at 10:34 UTC on 27 May 2009.[1] The vehicle docked with the station on 29 May 2009, officially changing the Soyuz TMA-14 crew from Expedition 19 to Expedition 20.[2]

Gennady Padalka was the first commander of a six-member station crew, and the first commander of two consecutive expeditions (Expedition 19 and 20). Nicole Stott was the final expedition astronaut to be launched on the shuttle.

During the expedition, Koichi Wakata performed a special experiment wherein he did not change his underpants for one month, in order to test a specially-designed underwear without washing or changing; he reportedly did not develop body odor due to the effects of the special garment.[3]

The station would not be permanently occupied by six crew members all year. For example, when the Expedition 20 crew (Roman Romanenko, Frank De Winne and Bob Thirsk) returned to Earth in November 2009, for a period of about two weeks only two crew members (Jeff Williams and Max Surayev) were aboard. This increased to five in early December, when Oleg Kotov, Timothy Creamer and Soichi Noguchi arrived on Soyuz TMA-17. It decreased to three when Williams and Surayev departed in March 2010, and finally returned to six in April 2010 with the arrival of Soyuz TMA-18, carrying Aleksandr Skvortsov, Mikhail Korniyenko and Tracy Caldwell Dyson.[4][5]


Position[6] First Part
(May to July 2009)
Second Part
(July to August 2009)
Third Part
(August to October 2009)
Commander Russia Gennady Padalka, RSA
Third spaceflight
Flight Engineer 1 United States Michael Barratt, NASA
First spaceflight
Flight Engineer 2 Belgium Frank De Winne, ESA
First spaceflight
Flight Engineer 3 Russia Roman Romanenko, RSA
First spaceflight
Flight Engineer 4 Canada Robert Thirsk, CSA
Second and last spaceflight
Flight Engineer 5 Japan Koichi Wakata, JAXA
Third spaceflight
United States Timothy Kopra, NASA
First spaceflight
United States Nicole Stott, NASA
First spaceflight

Backup crew[edit]

Extra-vehicular activity[edit]

Mission Spacewalkers Start (UTC) End (UTC) Duration
Expedition 20
Gennady Padalka
Michael R. Barratt
5 June 2009
5 June 2009
4 hours, 54 minutes
Prepared the Zvezda service module transfer compartment for the arrival of the Poisk module, installed docking antenna for the module, photographed antenna for evaluation on the ground, and photographed the Strela-2 crane.[7][8]
Expedition 20
Gennady Padalka
Michael R. Barratt
10 June 2009
10 June 2009
12 minutes
Internal spacewalk in the depressurised Zvezda transfer compartment, to replace one of the Zvezda hatches with a docking cone, in preparation for the docking of the Poisk module later in 2009. Poisk docked automatically to the zenith port of Zvezda on 12 November 2009, and serves as an additional docking port for Russian vehicles.[9][10]

denotes spacewalks performed from the Pirs docking compartment in Russian Orlan suits.

On 3 July 2009 expedition members undocked the Soyuz TMA-14 craft from the aft port of the Zvezda service module and piloted it over to the Pirs docking compartment. This was done to clear the way for the arrival of a Progress supply craft.[11]

See also[edit]


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. ^ a b c NASA HQ (24 May 2009). "Expedition 20 Crew Launches from Baikonur". NASA. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
  2. ^ NASA HQ (29 May 2009). "Expedition 20 Crew Docks with Space Station". NASA. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
  3. ^ "Astronaut wore pants for a month". BBC News. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  4. ^ "International Space Station Expeditions". NASA. 10 April 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
  5. ^ NASA (2008). "International Space Station". NASA. Retrieved 22 October 2008.
  6. ^ NASA HQ (2008). "NASA Assigns Space Station Crews, Updates Expedition Numbering". NASA. Retrieved 21 November 2008.
  7. ^ William Harwood for CBS News (5 June 2009). "Successful spacewalk ends". Spaceflightnow.com. Retrieved 5 June 2009.
  8. ^ NASA (March 2009). "Expedition 20 Press Kit" (.pdf). NASA. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
  9. ^ David Korth, Expedition 20 Spacewalk Flight Director (4 June 2009). "Expedition 20 Spacewalk Briefing Materials". NASA. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
  10. ^ "Russian "Internal" Spacewalk Complete". NASA. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2009.
  11. ^ "Station Crew Completes Soyuz Move". spacefellowship.com. 3 July 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2009.

External links[edit]