New eraFORTIS watches fly to ISS
The ISS Expedition 20 marks a new era in space exploration with the first six-person crew living and working on the ISS supported by an international team, both on the ground and in orbit. All five of the international partner agencies - NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency (FSA Roscosmos), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) - will be represented on orbit for the first time.
Before the expedition crew 20 left the Russian space port on board Soyuz flight TMA 15 on Friday May, 27th 2009 at 12:34 CEST, the head of the FSA General Anatoly Perminov presented the FORTIS Official Cosmonauts CHRONOGRAPHS to the crew members. The arrival of De Winne, Romanenko and Thirsk at the ISS will mark the first ever six-member ISS crew, as they join the three expedition crewmembers already in residence on the ISS: Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, NASA astronaut Michael Barratt and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata.