Monday, 19 August, 2019

Newly arriving astronauts float into ISS

The Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft's mission coincides with the 50th anniversary of the 1969 moon landing The Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft's mission coincides with the 50th anniversary of the 1969 moon landing
Sandra Phillips | 22 July, 2019, 14:29

Three astronauts arrived Saturday for their mission aboard the International Space Station after Russia's Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft carried them into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

NASA's Andrew Morgan will be joined by Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

The trio will be welcomed into the ISS by Nick Hague and Christina Koch of NASA and Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos after docking which is expected at around 2250 GMT.

"Soyuz MS-13" was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on July 20 at 19:28 local time.

The rocket will fly to the ISS in accordance with the six-hour plan, which means four spins around the globe.

On Friday night, the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum projected an image of the Saturn V rocket that launched Apollo 11 into space, onto the Washington Monument.

At 7.37 p.m., the spacecraft detached from the third launch vehicle stage and continued its autonomous flight to the ISS under the guidance of specialists from the Russian Mission Control Centre.

Fifty years to the day that astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped on the Moon in a giant leap for humanity, NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and two fellow crew members arrived Saturday for their mission aboard the International Space Station, where humans have lived and worked continuously for more than 18 years.

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This is Morgan's first spaceflight; he was selected as an astronaut in 2013.

But in recent times private companies like SpaceX and Boeing have bid to end the Russian monopoly on manned launches to the ISS, winning multi-billion contracts with NASA.

The launch took place on the 50th anniversary of the day United States astronauts landed on the moon.

Skvortsov, Morgan and Parmitano all come from military backgrounds and posed together in uniform in the build up to the launch.

A Russian space capsule with three astronauts aboard has blasted off for a fast-track trip to the International Space Station.

Overall, the ISS-60/61 expedition crewmembers are set to carry out nearly 50 applied research experiments, five of which will be conducted in an autonomous mode, without the crew's participation.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has set an ambitious deadline to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024.

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