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‘It’s an honour’ – ESA astronaut Mogensen assumes command of ISS as three crewmembers prepare to depart

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« Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev handed over command of the International Space Station (ISS) to Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen of the European Space Agency (ESA) on Tuesday.
Footage shows the entire crew of the ISS gathered for a traditional ceremony to bid farewell to the departing commander and hand over the symbolic key of the station to the next.
« Today the crew of the MS-22 MS-23 Soyuz passes the space watch as part of the 68-69 expedition to the ISS, a year in space has been spent,” Prokopyev said during a speech to reflect his commandership of the station.
« In spite of everything, we can work together, continue to fly, and perform scientific experiments for the benefit of all mankind. And today we hand over the reins to a new commander,” he continued.
In turn, Mogensen thanked the outgoing crew for their ‘hard work during the last year’ and wished them ‘a smooth flight and a soft landing’.
“It’s an honour to take over as commander of the International Space Station and to relieve you and your crew. Sergei, Frank and Dmitry, you have shown resilience, professionalism and grace in the face of unexpected challenges and significant uncertainty,” the new ISS commander said.
“Your competence, dedication and handwork is also abundantly clear to me and my Expedition-70 crew-mates. The space station is tidy, organised and work up here is flowing smoothly and efficiently and that’s in large part thanks to your hard work during the last year,” he added.
While serving as commander of the station, Andreas will be responsible for directing the crew and taking care of their safety and well-being. The ESA astronaut will also take charge of communications with the flight director on the ground.
Cosmonauts Sergei Prokopyev, Dmitry Petelin and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio arrived at the ISS last September. Their mission was scheduled for six months, but it was unexpectedly prolonged until September 27 this year due to damage to the ship’s radiator caused by a meteoroid in December. »


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