HOUSTON – Every year thousands of potential astronauts apply to NASA and its international partners to join the ranks of scientists, pilots and explorers. Today, NASA has appointed three International Space Station crew members to round out future expeditions to the orbiting laboratory.
NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Japanese Exploration Aerospace Agency (JAXA) astronaut Kimiya Yui and Russian Federal Space Agency cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko are scheduled to launch in June 2015. They will join three Expedition 44 crew members in orbit and will remain aboard as part of Expedition 45.
The Expedition 45 crew will be:
- NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, station commander
- Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, flight engineer
- Russian cosmonaut Yury Lonchakov, flight engineer
- NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, flight engineer
- Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui, flight engineer
- Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, flight engineer
Lindgren, a board-certified emergency and aerospace medicine physician, joined the astronaut corps in 2009 and worked as a NASA flight surgeon before his selection. He was born in Taiwan and spent some time in the Midwestern United States, but spent most of his youth in England. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in cardiovascular physiology and a doctorate in medicine. At the U.S. Air Force Academy, he was an instructor, jumpmaster and member of the “Wings of Blue” parachute team. He also conducted cardiovascular countermeasure research at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.
Yui was born in Nagano, Japan. He received degrees from the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, National Defense Academy of Japan, in March 1992. He served in the Japan Air Self Defense Force until his selection as an astronaut candidate by JAXA in February 2009. He has participated in two years of astronaut candidate training at NASA, which included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction on the space station’s systems, spacewalking, robotics, physiological training, flight training using a T-38 jet trainer and water and wilderness survival training. Yui also participated in the 16th NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations off the coast of Key Largo in Florida in June 2012.
Oleg Kononenko was selected to join the cosmonaut corps in 1996, and he completed his initial training in 1998. His first spaceflight was as a flight engineer for Expedition 17 in 2008. Kononenko launched to the International Space Station for his second mission in December 2011 and returned to Earth in July 2012. He spent a total of 193 days in space, 191 of which were aboard the station as a part of Expeditions 30 and 31. During Expedition 31, Kononenko served as both the station commander and Soyuz commander. During the course of his two missions, Kononenko has spent 393 days in space.