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Jason DavisApril 10, 2017

Expedition 50 had a fun and good ISS crew

The 50th International Space Station expedition came to an end this morning, as Shane Kimbrough, Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko landed in Kazakhstan at 7:20 a.m. EDT (11:20 UTC). They leave behind Peggy Whitson, who just received a three-month mission extension, along with Thomas Pesquet and Oleg Novitskiy. 

I believe Expedition 50 had a fun and good ISS crew. I base this declaration solely on the moments they shared on social media during the past six months. This logic is completely bulletproof and there's no point trying to prove otherwise.

Suppose you find yourself in low-Earth orbit with a team of fellow astronauts, zipping around the Earth at a clip of 7.7 kilometers per second, and you ask yourself: "Is this a fun and good ISS crew?" Here are some was to tell.

You have solid game faces.

Expedition 50 / 51 crewmembers

NASA / Alexander Vysotsky

Expedition 50 / 51 crewmembers
From left: Thomas Pesquet, ESA; Oleg Novitskiy, Roscosmos; Peggy Whitson, NASA.

Because you know you're superheroes.

Expedition 50 crew portrait


Expedition 50 crew portrait
Front row, from left: Andrey Borisenko, Roscosmos; Shane Kimbrough, NASA; Sergey Ryzhikov, Roscosmos. Back row, from left: Thomas Pesquet, ESA; Peggy Whitson, NASA, Oleg Novitskiy, Roscosmos.

You like spending the holidays with each other.

All six members of the international crew celebrated the holidays together with a festive meal!

— Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) December 25, 2016

And when someone brings a snack, they share.

Expedition 50 crew enjoys a snack


Expedition 50 crew enjoys a snack

You're hip to the latest social media memes.

We got the whole crew together and took the #MannequinChallenge to new heights #Proxima

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) December 29, 2016

You're down for some hijinks. 

Zipped inside a cargo bag @Thom_astro & @astro_kimbrough took me over to the Russian segment. They were quite surprised when I popped out!

— Peggy Whitson (@AstroPeggy) February 13, 2017

And you aren't bashful in front of your friends.

Oleg as a real spaceman! We worked together on a joint experiment studying fluid shifts in astronauts’ bodies @iss_research

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) February 3, 2017

You'll miss each other.

.@Astro_Kimbrough and two cosmonauts say farewell and close #Soyuz hatches at 12:45am ET. Undocking set for 3:57am.

— Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) April 10, 2017

But you have a nice planet to come home to.

Good night Earth from @Space_Station – headed back your way tomorrow!

— Shane Kimbrough (@astro_kimbrough) April 9, 2017

With friends that will lift your spirits!

Astronaut Shane Kimbrough gets a lift

NASA / Bill Ingalls

Astronaut Shane Kimbrough gets a lift
NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough is carried to a medical tent shortly after landing on April 10, 2017.

And if you're staying behind, it's nice to have some extra space.

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson stretches out


NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson stretches out

Read more: mission status, human spaceflight, astronaut, International Space Station

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Jason Davis

Editorial Director for The Planetary Society
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