The ISS currently has a crew of 3, that was brought there on Expedition 63 by Soyuz MS-15.

Crew dragon flights will bring 4 astronauts to the iss which means that the ISS will have a crew of 7 on board at once with a soyuz's crew of 3.

However, the ISS only has 6 permanent 'beds' (2 in the Russian side and 4 in the Harmony module of the NASA segment).

Where will the seventh astronaut sleep? Will they strap their sleeping bag to a wall? Will they implement shifts and sleep while another astronaut is awake?

Will the odd one always be the same person or will they take turns sleeping outside of the crew cabins?

  • $\begingroup$ First it's not like Soyuz hasn't done a multi day mission before so why not sleep there. Then ISS is big enough and the 7th person can just pin himself/herself anywhere to sleep. Finally and most importantly, they don't sleep at the same time... $\endgroup$ May 18, 2020 at 6:00
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    $\begingroup$ @user3528438 can you back up your statement that they don't sleep at the same time with a reference? Because they do. See: space.stackexchange.com/a/20822/6944 $\endgroup$ May 18, 2020 at 13:24
  • $\begingroup$ Astronauts can choose to sleep elsewhere on the station; their sleeping bags can be pinned pretty much anywhere. $\endgroup$ May 22, 2020 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe ins8de the dragon? $\endgroup$ May 26, 2020 at 19:16

1 Answer 1


The next module due to be launched to the ISS is Nauka.

This is actually the backup FGB for Zarya, and is finally due to be launched this year. (We shall see, this saga has been going on for more than a decade now).

It will contain crew quarters for at least one more, making room for the 7th resident of the station.

It will dock to the Earth facing side of Zvezda's docking port, replacing the Pirs docking module. A Progress variant will dock to Pirs, and when time to depart, leave with Pirs attached, freeing up the docking port.

Russian orbital segment, from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Orbital_Segment#/media/File:Russian_Orbital_Segment.png

It has a port at its bottom that the UM (Universal Module? Actually it is Russian, Uzlovoy Module) which is a ball shaped module with 6 ports. This will be the main point of extending the Russian segment of the station going forward.

Some of the equipment for Nauka was actually launched by the Shuttle with Rassvet, and has been waiting in orbit for the module to arrive.

I suppose I should finish by saying, I have no idea who will sleep where among the 7 crew and 7 berths.

  • $\begingroup$ Will the Europeans who have grown old and gray waiting for the ERA to fly finally see it? Time will tell. $\endgroup$ May 18, 2020 at 13:23
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    $\begingroup$ Will the designers still be alive when it flies, that sort of question? (European Robot Arm=ERA (Launched attached to Rassvet, waiting for Nauka to be attached). $\endgroup$
    – geoffc
    May 18, 2020 at 13:28
  • $\begingroup$ Only the spare elbow joint is on the ISS to date. $\endgroup$ May 18, 2020 at 13:28
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    $\begingroup$ Nauka launch slipped into 2021 <tries to look surprised but fails> tass.com/science/1139385 $\endgroup$ May 18, 2020 at 17:43

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