The first update from ESA mission director Roland Luettgens from the Columbus Control Centre written on 23 July:
We still have a few weeks of preparatory time ahead but we are getting ready for the iriss mission. We will conduct two operations ‘readiness reviews’ during the next two weeks to ensure everything is ready for Andreas’s mission. This review include all the cargo that is being transported with the Soyuz that will fly him to space, all operations teams readiness, all training finished, Columbus Control Centre readiness and of course the readiness of the spaceship.
We are currently finalising the detailed plan of Andreas’s activities on the International Space Station. Every day will be full of activities for him, including scientific experiments, technology demonstrations and educational activities.
On 23 July three new crewmates arrived at the Station so with the arrival of Andreas and his crewmates in a few weeks there will be nine astronauts and cosmonauts in total sharing work and the space inside the International Space Station.
A few days before the arrival of Soyuz 44S with Andreas and crewmates, one of the already-docked Soyuz spacecraft, Soyuz 42S, will have to be relocated to make space for Andreas’s spaceship. The relocated Soyuz 42S is the one in which Andreas will return to Earth after his 10 day mission.
…40 days and counting…