New ISS Crew Ready to start six month mission in space after former ISS crew set records in space

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - At the end of September, a new crew of space scientists will launch from Russia, headed to the International Space Station (ISS).

They'll be on a six month mission to accomplish all kinds of goals and maybe even set some new records in space, like the former crew did.

Right now, astronaut Barry Wilmore of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a German scientist and a cosmonaut are in Russia waiting to leave for a six month mission aboard the ISS.

Marshall Space Flight Center staffers say Wilmore has relatives in the Tennessee Valley cheering him on.

"He's got family locally," said Rick Rodriguez, Increment 41/42 Payload Operations Manager.  "I talked to him, met him and he said, 'yeah, he's still got family over here.. they still come visit."

The crew is due to blast off September 26th to replace three others who returned last week, setting a couple of records during their time.

"On July 5th, was the 500th day that ISS has had a permanent man present on," said Pat Patterson, Increment 40 Payload Operations Manager.

She said astronaut Steve Swanson and the others weren't just enjoying the view.

"The week of July 20th, we set a record on how many crew hours used for science," said Patterson.  "It was 83 and 55 minutes.  The previous record was 77."

Among other things, the crew gave the Robonaut legs.

"The ultimate end goal is so that we can send him outside and not put our astronauts at risk," said Patterson.

Crew members used Smartphone technology to map out the inside of the ISS for future vision-based control of things.

And they were the first to Instagram and post time lapse videos on Vine from space.

The new crew will work with the first ever 3D printer in space that is scheduled to go up Saturday in a Spacex Dragon cargo rocket.

They'll be doing lots of experiments, including ones that study the effects of zero-gravity on seedlings and fruit flies.