Texas Tech University

Alumnus Will Launch to International Space Station Next Week

Glenys Young

September 5, 2017


Joseph M. Acaba will begin his third space flight on Tuesday.

Joseph M. Acaba
Joseph M. Acaba

NASA astronaut Joseph M. Acaba, who earned his master's degree in Education, Curriculum and Instruction from Texas Tech University in 2015, will launch into space for the third time next week. Along with fellow NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, Acaba will travel to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Russia Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft on Tuesday (Sept. 12).

Acaba logged a total of 138 days in space during his previous two missions. In 2009, he flew to the ISS aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery and eventually conducted two spacewalks. In 2012, he returned to the space station on a Soyuz spacecraft to serve as flight engineer for Expedition 31/32, which involved more than 130 in-flight experiments.

On this mission, Expedition 53/54, the crew members will continue several hundred experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and earth science. Among these is Functional Immune, which analyzes blood and saliva samples to determine changes taking place in crew members' immune systems during flight. Results are expected to provide new insight into the possible health risks of long-duration space travel, including future missions to deep space.

More Photos

High resolution images of Acaba are available to download here.

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