Swanson lived and worked on board the International Space Station (ISS) for six months and served as its commander from May-September 2014. In his role as a Boise State Professor of the Practice, prior to his launch he interacted online with an interdisciplinary team of Boise State students called “Space Broncos” and did a live downlink to the Boise State campus from the ISS in May 2014.
Swanson served as a flight engineer for Expedition 39, a joint mission with two Russian cosmonauts in March 2014 to the International Space Station. Swanson, Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev joined Expedition 39 while it already is in progress.
Swanson will be elevated to the role of station commander two months later, when Expedition 40 officially begins. He is expected to return from space at the conclusion of Expedition 40 in September.
Swanson has been an astronaut since 1998. His space flight experience includes an Atlantis shuttle mission to the International Space Station in June 2007, when he performed two spacewalks. That mission traveled 5.8 million miles in 14 days, according to NASA.
He also was a part of a Discovery shuttle mission to the International Space Station in March 2009. Swanson again was part of two spacewalks, and his mission covered 5.3 million miles in 13 days.