NASA names astronaut Chris Cassidy as commander of Space Station's Expedition 63

NASA has announced astronaut Chris Cassidy will return to the International Space Station in April 2020 to become commander of Expedition 63, the agency said.

Cassidy will arrive at the station with Russian space agency Roscosmos cosmonauts Nikolai Tikhonov and Andrei Babkin, as NASA flight engineers Jessica Meir and Drew Morgan, along with Expedition 62 commander Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos, wrap up Expedition 62. When Meir, Morgan and Skripochka depart the orbital outpost, Cassidy will become commander of Expedition 63. He and his crewmates are expected to remain aboard the station until October 2020.

This will be the third spaceflight for Cassidy. Cassidy´s first spaceflight was as a mission specialist aboard space shuttle Endeavour for the STS-127 mission in 2009, when he became the 500th person to fly in space. During the 16-day mission, Cassidy participated in three spacewalks to help install the Japanese Kibo laboratory´s exposed facility and replace solar array batteries on the Port 6 truss of the space station.