Published: March 1, 2013 By

astronaut in suit

Traveling for work will take on a new dimension for astronaut Steve Swanson (EngrPhys’83) who will travel 240 miles into space and spend six months on the International Space Station next year.

Swanson — who has traveled to space in 2007 and 2009 for a total of four weeks — will be a crew member of two overlapping space station missions starting in March 2014.

On his space adventure Swanson will live with five others while serving as flight engineer on Expedition 39 and then as station commander on Expedition 40. He will work 12-hour shifts most days, splitting his time between research experiments and station maintenance.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he told the Daily Camera, noting his favorite space meal is thermostablized crawfish étouffée. “It’ll be like moving to a new country for six months, only higher up.”

CU-Boulder scholar-in-residence and Roubos Chair Jim Voss (MAero’74, HonDocSci’00) also has traveled to the space station. In 2000 he helped construct the station aboard the Atlantis and in 2001 was a member of the second crew to live aboard it on the Expedition 2 mission.

Six Facts about the International Space Station

  1. Orbits 240 miles above Earth
  2. Size of a football field
  3. Has had 204 visitors
  4. Weighs 861,804 pounds, equaling about 320 cars
  5. Has two bathrooms, a gymnasium and 360-degree window
  6. Contains eight miles of wire that connects the electrical power system

Source: NASA