The countdown to liftoff begins for three astronauts on NASA’s Expedition 38.
Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio of NASA, Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin and Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Nov. 7, 2013 local time.
The crew will launch in the Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft and work aboard the International Space Station for six months.
“There will be approximately 200 experiments going on while I’m up there over the six months,” Mastracchio told the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp. He said the research ranges from developing new vaccines to investigating technologies “that help the folks here on planet Earth.”
Mastracchio, Tyurin and Wakata will also carry the Olympic torch with them into space. They will pass the torch over to the current crew at the International Space Station, who will bring it back to Russia.
“This was the idea of the Russians to tie in the International Space Station with the international olympics,” Mastracchio said. The 2014 Winter Olympics will be held in Sochi, Russia. “We have our own little Olympic relay going on in space… I think it’s a great fit and it’s fun to be a small part of it.”
Watch the video below to learn more about the astronauts on Expedition 38.
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-9 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, DC region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.