Actually, as far as I know, Uber hasn’t expanded it’s service to the International Space Station (yet).

Three of the astronauts currently on board the ISS, NASA astronaut Terry Virts, Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, and ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti are scheduled to depart on June 11th, at 8:51 am EDT according to this press release by NASA.

Expedition 43 crew

Credit: Twitter @AstroSamantha

The astronauts, all members of Expedition 43 to the ISS, had their return delayed by 4 weeks while an investigation was done regarding a failure of the Progress 59 cargo ship in late April.

During the time on the ISS, ESA astronaut Samanatha Cristoforetti has broken the record for the longest single spaceflight for an ESA astronaut, as well as the longest single spaceflight of any woman, ever. You might remember her from this awesome selfie she tweeted from aboard the ISS.

@astrosamantha start trek selfie

Credit: Twitter @AstroSamantha

 

She and her fellow Expedition 43 crew members have traveled over 84 million miles since departing Earth on November 24th, 2014.

While 199 days might seem like a long time in space, for the two members of both Expedition 44 and Expedition 45 that would be a walk in the park. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are staying on the ISS for 1 year. That is almost double the normal amount of time astronauts are on board the ISS. These two veteran astronauts are helping to pave the way to future exploration on Mars by allowing NASA to study the long-term effects of being in space. On a side note, Expedition 45 has the coolest mission photograph of all time. This is the official photo for Expedition 45:

expedition 45 crew poster

Credit: NASA

For the curious, the longest anyone has ever spent in space on a single mission was a period of 437.7 days. That distinction goes to Cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov.  He should not be confused with the person who has the longest total amount of time in space (803+ days), Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev. Krikalev was on board the Mir as a Soviet Union Cosmonaut when the Soviet Union collapsed. He was pretty much stuck up there until things cooled off on the ground. He returned to Earth as the first person to go to space as a citizen of one country, and return as a citizen of another.

An interesting side note to this story, Cosmonaut Krikalev went on to become a member of ISS Expedition 1. He and NASA Astronaut Robert Cabana were the first two people on the ISS, and literally turned the lights on inside the Unity habitat module.

Today, the International Space Station continues to be a home away from home for our space-faring explorers.

International_Space_Station_after_undocking_of_STS-132

Credit: NASA

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