On 4 October 2021 ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet became commander of the International Space Station, taking over from @JAXA | 宇宙航空研究開発機構 astronaut and fellow Crew-2 member Akihiko Hoshide. Thomas will hold this role until shortly before Crew-2 return to Earth in November. Thomas officially accepted his new position during a traditional ceremony, broadcast live from the International Space Station, where a symbolic handover of a key from Aki to Thomas denoted the change of command. The full title of this role is International Space Station crew commander. While overall command of the Station lies with ground-based flight directors, unless there is an emergency on board, the role of crew commander is vital to mission success. Aki became commander on 27 April 2021 when he took over from @NASA astronaut Shannon Walker. In September Aki and Thomas conducted the first spacewalk without a Russian or US astronaut.
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