HOUSTON – The NASA community celebrated the achievements of six astronauts and the thousands of hands on Earth who helped make expeditions 56 and 57 possible.
The public event included a NASA Crew Debrief and an awards ceremony.
The crews' mission? To show what conditions are like to live out of this world.
"We are six individuals representing the population of the Earth," American astronaut and 56 Cmdr. Drew Feustel said.
Feustel is one of five other space explorers who were honored Wednesday night at Space Center Houston.
Feustel was a part of Expedition 56 alongside American astronaut Richard Arnold and Russian kosmonaut Oleg Artemyev. Also honored were members of Expedition 57, including German-European Space Agency astronaut Cmdr. Alexander Gerst, American astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor and Russian kosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev.
"They are super brave, and space is the final frontier representing the ultimate human curiosity," said Abby Huff, a NASA intern who attended the event.
"We get to celebrate the work these crews have done, and we get to recognize the people, both the crews that actually went into space and did the great work, but we also get to recognize the folks on the ground who made it happen -- the flight directors, the flight controllers and other people in the program in the center," said Mark Geyer, NASA's Johnson Space Center director.