Science is doubling up on the International Space Station with the addition of three new space residents. However, they will split up on October 21 before four more astronauts launch to join the Expedition 64 crew in November.

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough will be joined by NASA flight engineer Samantha Cristoforetti, Europe Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli from Italy and Takuya Onishi from Japan for Expedition 64, which is due to come to a close on the very next day. The final four man crew from the Expedition 55 duo will arrive on the station shortly before Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center in Houston will signal the end U.S. participation.

During the STS-135 teleconference document, Kimbrough and Cristoforetti detailed what the new assignment will entail. Both play key roles on the International Space Station, conducting science experiments and removes contaminants from bidirectional dust dispersions."They don't be working in isolation. Both will be moving in a small team with a trained professional there to help them assume control to drive the mission," said Scott Pace, ISS program manager on Conference Call with reporters.

Nespoli, a former Italian astronaut will have the unenviable task of competing for time with his Italian counterpart on research on the upper stages of successive launches. Nespoli made history in June this year when he became the first Italian astronaut to return to orbit on missions in 2006, on Mir and in 2011 on Expedition 46. "When (his schedule) opens up, we'll have equivalent vehicle uses where (he's) operating on MIR [MSSE – Monitoring and Diagnostics Room] if they need him to take a high-resolution sample of a chemical imbalance that would suggest a problem on the upper stage. That's one of the critical jobs of a mission scientist." Kimbrough added

Cristiforetti and Onishi are also moving about with equal weight and considering themselves as the results of the International Space Station. "We (In April and June) had an opportunity to show and explain the whole value of full lab setup. They'll have the same things that the ISS crew has. They will be exposed to various things that will be tracks … An adjunct on the High-Resolution Earth Observation System that will be applicable to with them a whole lot of data and what we have to do with a suite of hand-held monitors that have four quitters. A lot of other work occurs during the lives of scientists like applying rag spots for paper lab coatings and always doing five things be it as a physician for 48 hours or getting out into the field."

Cristoforetti and Onishi are willing participants who are homesick for the
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