I have some anecdotal information. The ISS has a commander, and I noticed here that it had a Flight Engineer, and in this article (found here) I see that Skylab had a Science Pilot.

Do space stations (US, Russian, Chinese, and International) have standardized officer designations for crew? Are all standard positions always fully "staffed" when astronauts are present?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Sometimes the ISS has a Science Officer. nasa.gov/centers/johnson/news/releases/2002/h02-175.html My curmudgeonly take on this is that none of it means anything except for the commander. $\endgroup$ Mar 12, 2019 at 1:18
  • $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble it seems there must be some kind of designated commander-in-waiting in case the current commander gets a sudden case of appendicitis. Can't have someone just pull an Alexander Haig. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Mar 12, 2019 at 1:27
  • $\begingroup$ That's a deorbit three crewmembers case. $\endgroup$ Mar 12, 2019 at 1:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble maybe it's a different question, and maybe it exists already and has an answer, but an activity that would probably benefit from having a commander $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Mar 12, 2019 at 1:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I hadn't thought about chain of command. It's here though: spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=3418 Sadly NASA doesn't publish the ISS flight rules and they are heavily referenced therein. $\endgroup$ Mar 12, 2019 at 1:34


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.