Expedition 52

ISS Expedition 52
Mission type ISS Expedition
Space Station International Space Station
Began 2 June 2017 UTC[1]
Ended 2 September 2017 UTC
Arrived aboard Soyuz MS-03
Soyuz MS-04
Soyuz MS-05
Departed aboard Soyuz MS-04
Soyuz MS-05
Crew size 6
Members Expeditions 50/51/52:
Peggy A. Whitson
Expeditions 51/52:
Fyodor Yurchikhin
Jack D. Fischer
Expeditions 52/53:
Sergey Ryazansky
Randolph J. Bresnik
Paolo Nespoli
ISS Expedition 52 Patch.svg
Expedition 52 mission patch
Expedition 52 crew portrait.jpg
(l-r) Fischer, Yurchikhin, Whitson, Nespoli, Bresnik, Ryazanskiy  

Expedition 52 (June - September 2017) was the 52nd expedition to the International Space Station. It officially began on June 2, 2017 10:47 UTC, with the undocking of Soyuz MS-03. Transfer of Command from Expedition 51 was done on June 1, 2017.[1]

Due to a decision to cut down the number of participating Russian cosmonauts in 2017, only two crew members were launched on Soyuz MS-04, which brought the ISS total crew down to five people.[2] However, it was later decided that Peggy Whitson would stay on board longer, transferring from Expedition 51 to maintain a full crew of six astronauts over the summer, after the arrival of three new members on Soyuz MS-05.[3] Expedition 51 officially ended on September 2, 2017 11:47 UTC, with the undocking of Soyuz MS-04.[4]


Position First Part
(June to July 2017)
Second Part
(July to September 2017)
Commander Russia Fyodor Yurchikhin, RSA
Fifth and last spaceflight
Flight Engineer 1 United States Jack Fischer, NASA
Only spaceflight
Flight Engineer 2 United States Peggy Whitson, NASA
Third spaceflight
Flight Engineer 3 United States Randy Bresnik, NASA
Second spaceflight
Flight Engineer 4 Russia Sergey Ryazansky, RSA
Second and last spaceflight
Flight Engineer 5 Italy Paolo Nespoli, ESA
Third and last spaceflight
ISS Configuration after swapping Dragon for Cygnus, 5 June 2017

Mission Highlights

June 2017 - Expedition 52 Begins

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson handed over command of the International Space Station to Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikin in a traditional Change of Command ceremony, which began at 15:50 UTC on June 1.[1]

After spending 194 day aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 51 crew members Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Thomas Pesquet undocked from the station at 10:47 UTC, officially marking the start of Expedition 52.[5] Novitskiy and Pesquet landed their Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft in Kazakhstan at 14:10 UTC on June 2nd.[6]

On June 3rd, a SpaceX Falcon 9 lifted off with a Dragon resupply ship as part of SpaceX mission CRS-11 from Cape Canaveral pad 39A[7] with supplies and a new Roll Out Solar Array (ROSA) prototype.[8][9] Jack Fischer undocked the Cygus OA-7 dubbed "SS John Glenn" from the station on June 4 to make room for the Dragon resupply.[10] Fischer and Whitson grappled the Dragon cargo craft on June 5 with the Canadarm2 and docked it on the Earth-facing side of the Harmony module on the Pirs docking compartment.[11] The Roscosmos Progress MS-06 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on June 14, carrying more than 3 tons of supplies.[12] The Progress MS-06 docked on June 16 to the aft port of Zvezda.[13]

Fischer and Whitson performed observations of mold and bacteria samples for student-led biology experiments and protein crystal sample experiments.[14][15] Whitson cared for rodents in the Rodent Habitat Facility[14] to understand healing mechanisms and the efficiency of osteoinductive drugs in low gravity[16] and performed experiments for a cardiac stem cell study[14] to understand the effects of microgravity on the aging process.[17] Fischer and Whitson set up a seedling growth botany study[8] to investigate the effects of light and microgravity on Arabidopsis thaliana.[18] Fisher was also the subject of a Vascular Echo study[19] that examined changes in blood vessels and the heart while in space and their recovery back on Earth.[20] Yurchikhin studied pain sensation in space[19] to help researches develop proposals to improve health care in orbit.[21] Yurchikhin, Whitson and Fischer also took body measurements[22] for the in-flight conditions that could be compared to pre- and post-flight conditions.[23] Whitson started a cancer study[24] to evaluate antibody-drug conjugates, which can increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy while reducing it's side effects.[25]

July 2017 - Full Crew After Soyuz MS-05

Fischer and Whitson released the SpaceX Dragon CRS-11 on July 3 at 6:41 UTC.[26]

Whitson tested her ability to work on interactive tasks as part of a Fine Motor Skills study[27] to measure how motor skills are affected by long-term microgravity exposure, different phases of adaptation and recovery after returning to Earth.[28] Fischer finished operations with a Group Combustion Module experiment,[27] where droplets of decane were arranged on a thin-fiber lattice so that the flame and temperature distribution could be measured as the flame spreads.[29] Whitson and Fischer also collected their own blood, urine and saliva samples for the Fluid Shifts experiment[30] that measured how much fluid shifts from the lower body to the upper body in microgravity and the effects on the human eye.[31] Whitson started the Mag3D experiment[32] that magnetizes cells to make them easier to handle in microgravity.[33] Whitson also setup gear for a Two Phase Flow experiment[34] that studied interfacial behaviors of perfluorohexane, an electronic coolant, under different conditions.[35] Fischer used the exercise bike to research the effectiveness of high intensity, low volume exercise,[34] which showed that maximum intensity exercise appears better for aerobic capacity than normal intensity exercise in microgravity.[36]

Fyodor Yurchikhin maintained the life support system on the Russian side of the station by preplacing pumps and hoses and re-pressurizing the cabin.[37] Jack Fischer replaced a failed water separator inside the Tranquility module that was part of the Common Cabin Air Assembly that controls the stations humidity and temperature.[38] Fischer also installed new equipment in the Window Observational Research Facility (WORF).[39]

Clockwise from top right: Nespoli, Fischer, Whitson, Ryazankiy, Bresnick and Yurchikhin

On July 28, the Soyuz MS-05 launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with Randy Bresnik of NASA, Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Italian Paolo Nespoli of ESA.[40] They docked later that day while both spacecraft were over Germany.[41]

August 2017 - Research and Resupply

Nespoli and Bresnik recorded their experiences with space headaches,[42] researches later concluded that changes in cerebral blood flow and intracranial pressure caused them, opposed to the theory that it was space motion sickness.[43] Fischer and Whitson studied a new drugs effects on mouse bone atrophy,[42] current therapies cannot restore lost bone, but the new drug from the University of California at Los Angeles had the potential to rebuild bone and block further bone loss.[44]

On August 16, Fischer and Nespoli captured the SpaceX CRS-12 Dragon using the station's robotic arm and installed it on the station's Harmony module.[45] The Dragon delivered more than 6,400 pounds of supplies including an ice cream treat for the astronauts.[46]

Yurchikhin and Ryazankiy exited the Pirs Docking Compartment on August 17th.[47] They manually deployed 5 nanosatellites and collected test containers from various locations outside the Russian segment of the space station.[48]

September 2017 - Mission Close Out

Peggy Whitson, Jack Fischer and Fyodor Yurchikhin touched down on September 3 at 1:21 UTC southeast of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan,[49] in their Soyuz MS-04 capsule.[50] Whitson completed a 288-day mission, her third long duration mission which brought her career total to 665 days in space, a new record for U.S. and 8th on the all time list of days in space.[49] Fischer and Yurchikin completed 136 days in space, giving Yurchikin a total of 673 days in space, placing him 7th of all time at that time.[49]


EVA # Spacewalkers Start (UTC) End (UTC) Duration
1. Russia Fyodor Yurchikhin

Russia Sergei Ryazanski

August 17, 2017


August 17, 2017


7 hours 34 minutes[51]
Retrieved the "Restavratsiya" (Restoration) Experiment Hardware, Launched 5 Nano Satellites one of them being a Sputnik satellite named "Zerkalo" which was launched to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the original Sputnik and the birth of rocket scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Cleaned the windows on the Russian segment and installed "Test" containers on the hatches of the Pirs Docking Compartment and the Poisk Module, Retrieved CKK 9M9 cassettes from Zvezda, Installed Struts, Gap Spanners, and Handrails on Zvezda in preparation for the arrival of Nauka in the future, Installed the "Impact" trays by the Zvezda thrusters, and photographed the aft end of Zvezda and the "OHA" Antenna, Installed Struts, Gap Spanners, Handrails, and Ladders on Poisk, Photographed the Russian Segment.

Uncrewed spaceflights to the ISS

Resupply missions that visited the International Space Station during Expedition 52:

- ISS flight number
Country Mission Launcher Launch
Duration (Docked) Deorbit
SpaceX CRS-11
- CRS SpX-11
 United States Logistics Falcon 9 3 Jun 2017, 21:07:17 5 Jun 2017, 16:07 3 Jul 2017, 06:41 27d 14h 34m 3 Jul 2017
Progress MS-06
- ISS 67P
 Russia Logistics Soyuz-2.1a 14 Jun 2017, 09:20:13 16 Jun 2017, 11:37 28 Dec 2017, 01:03:30 194d 13h 26m 28 Dec 2017
SpaceX CRS-12
- CRS SpX-12
 United States Logistics Falcon 9 14 Aug 2017, 16:31:00 16 Aug 2017, 10:52 17 Sep 2017, 08:40 31d 21h 48m 17 Sep 2017


  1. ^ a b c Garcia, Mark (1 June 2017). "Station Changes Command Before Friday Crew Return". NASA. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  2. ^ Irene Klotz (16 November 2016). "NASA, Russia Set Flights for Trimmed-Down Space Station Crew". space.com. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Whitson to stay on the ISS for an additional three months". NASASpaceFlight.com. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  4. ^ Garcia, Mark (2 June 2017). "Expedition 51 Duo Undocks and Heads to Earth". NASA. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  5. ^ Garcia, Mark (2 June 2017). "Expedition 51 Duo Undocks and Heads to Earth". blogs.nasa.gov.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  6. ^ Garcia, Mark (2 June 2017). "Expedition 51 Crew Back on Earth After 196 Days". blogs.nasa.gov.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  7. ^ Garcia, Mark (3 June 2017). "Dragon Launches to Station, Cygnus Departs Sunday". blogs.nasa.gov.
  8. ^ a b Garcia, Mark (19 June 2017). "Station Kicks off Week with Solar Array Study and Biological Research".
  9. ^ Banik, Jeremy. "Roll-Out Solar Array". nasa.gov.
  10. ^ Garcia, Mark (4 June 2017). "Cygnus Departs Station Day Before Dragon Arrives". blogs.nasa.gov.
  11. ^ Garcia, Mark (5 June 2017). "Dragon Attached to Station for Cargo Transfers". blogs.nasa.gov.
  12. ^ Garcia, Mark (14 June 2017). "Russian Rocket Launches on Two-Day Cargo Delivery to Station". blogs.nasa.gov.
  13. ^ Garcia, Mark (16 June 2017). "Russian Cargo Craft Delivers Over Three Tons of Supplies". blogs.nasa.gov.
  14. ^ a b c Garcia, Mark (15 June 2017). "Crew Researches Mold, Rodents and Stem Cells as Cargo Ship Chases Station". blogs.nasa.gov.
  15. ^ Garcia, Mark (8 June 2017). "Station Trio Works New Science Delivered Aboard Dragon". blogs.nasa.gov.
  16. ^ Hammamieh, Rasha. "Tissue Regeneration-Bone Defect". nasa.gov. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  17. ^ Kearns-Jonker, Mary. "Functional Effects of Spaceflight on Cardiovascular Stem Cells". nasa.gov.
  18. ^ Medina, Franciso-Javier. "Seedling Growth-3". nasa.gov.
  19. ^ a b Garcia, Mark (23 June 2017). "Crew Explores Cardiac Research and Tiny Satellites Today". blogs.nasa.gov.
  20. ^ Hughson, Richard Lee. "Cardiac and Vessel Structure and Function with Long-Duration Space Flight and Recovery". nasa.gov.
  21. ^ "Algometriya Experiment". energia.ru.
  22. ^ Garcia, Mark (26 June 2017). "Crew Preps for Solar Array Jettison and Dragon Departure". blogs.nasa.gov.
  23. ^ Rajulu, Sudhakar. "Quantification of In-Flight Physical Changes - Anthropometry and Neutral Body Posture". nasa.gov.
  24. ^ Garcia, Mark (24 July 2017). "Launch Preps in Kazakhstan; Cancer Therapies Researched on Station". blogs.nasa.gov.
  25. ^ Sinha, Sourav. "Efficacy and Metabolism of Azonafide Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs) in Microgravity". nasa.gov.
  26. ^ Garcia, Mark (3 July 2017). "Dragon Cargo Craft Flies Away From Station". blogs.nasa.gov.
  27. ^ a b Garcia, Mark (6 July 2017). "Crew Studies Space Impacts on Humans and Tech". blogs.nasa.gov.
  28. ^ Holden, Kritina. "Effects of Long-Duration Microgravity on Fine Motor Skills: 1 year ISS Investigation". nasa.gov.
  29. ^ Mikami, Masato. "Elucidation of Flame Spread and Group Combustion Excitation Mechanism of Randomly-distributed Droplet Clouds". nasa.gov.
  30. ^ Garcia, Mark (7 July 2017). "New Crew in Final Training Before Late July Launch". blogs.nasa.gov.
  31. ^ Stenger, Michael. "Fluid Shifts Before, During and After Prolonged Space Flight and Their Association with Intracranial Pressure and Visual Impairment". nasa.gov.
  32. ^ Williams, Catherine. "Crew Starts Week with Emergency Drill and Magnetic Cell Study". blogs.nasa.gov.
  33. ^ Souza, Glauco. "Magnetic 3D Cell Culture for Biological Research in Microgravity". blogs.nasa.gov.
  34. ^ a b Williams, Catherine (12 July 2017). "Crew Researches Exercise, Protein Crystals and High Temps". blogs.nasa.gov.
  35. ^ Ohta, Haruhiko. "Interfacial behaviors and Heat transfer characteristics in Boiling Two-Phase Flow". nasa.gov.
  36. ^ Moore, Alan. "Evaluation of Maximal Oxygen Uptake and Submaximal Estimates of VO2max Before, During, and After Long Duration International Space Station Missions". nasa.gov.
  37. ^ Garcia, Mark (7 July 2017). "New Crew in Final Training Before Late July Launch". blogs.nasa.gov.
  38. ^ Williams, Catherine (11 July 2017). "Magnetic Cell Studies and AC Repairs on Orbit Today". blogs.nasa.gov.
  39. ^ Garcia, Mike (13 July 2017). "New Science Gear Installed, Cargo Craft Packed for Disposal". blogs.nasa.gov.
  40. ^ Garcia, Mark (28 July 2017). "New Crew Blasts Off to Station". blogs.nasa.gov.
  41. ^ Garcia, Mark (28 July 2017). "New Crew Docks to Station". blogs.nasa.gov.
  42. ^ a b Garcia, Mark (2 August 2017). "Astronauts Look at Ways to Prevent Space Headaches and Bone Loss". blogs.nasa.gov.
  43. ^ Vein, A. "Space Headaches". nasa.gov.
  44. ^ Soo, Chia. "Systemic Therapy of NELL-1 for Osteoporosis". nasa.gov.
  45. ^ Garcia, Mark (16 August 2017). "Robotic Arm Reaches Out and Grapples Dragon". blogs.nasa.gov.
  46. ^ Garcia, Mark (16 August 2017). "Dragon Installed to Station for Month of Cargo Swaps". blogs.nasa.gov.
  47. ^ Garcia, Mark (17 August 2017). "Cosmonauts Begin Spacewalk". blogs.nasa.gov.
  48. ^ Whiting, Melanie (17 August 2017). "Spacewalk Comes to a Close". blogs.nasa.gov.
  49. ^ a b c Garcia, Mark (2 September 2017). "Touchdown! Expedition 52 Back on Earth". blogs.nasa.gov.
  50. ^ Garcia, Mark (1 September 2017). "Record-Setting NASA Astronaut, Crewmates Prepare for Return to Earth". blogs.nasa.gov.
  51. ^ Huot, Dan (18 August 2017). "Station Crew Ends Week Preparing for Eclipse 2017". blogs.nasa.gov.