Published: Mon, July 22, 2019
Science | By

Russian, U.S. astronauts blast off on moon landing anniversary

Russian, U.S. astronauts blast off on moon landing anniversary

The Soyuz capsule docked at 22:48 GMT Saturday, just six hours and 20 minutes after blasting off from Russia's launch complex in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The Russian rocket USA astronaut Andrew Morgan, Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov and Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano. Russian Alexey Ovechkin and Americans Nick Hague and Christina have been aboard since March.

The latest mission to the two-decades-old space-based laboratory - a collaboration among the United States, Russia, Europe, Canada, and Japan - comes as the United States celebrates the 50th anniversary of its pioneering Apollo 11 mission that put the first human beings on the moon.

The arrival date is memorable as Saturday is the 50th anniversary that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped on the Moon in a giant leap for humanity.

Mrs Koch herself was selected by NASA to be an astronaut in 2013 and is working on the ISS as part of the Expedition 59, 60 and upcoming Expedition 61 crews.

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.

A NASA TV commentator hailed a "textbook launch" amid "sweltering" weather at Baikonur, where daytime temperatures reached 43 degrees Celsius on Saturday.


Morgan, Parmitano and Skvortsov will spend about six months at the orbiting laboratory, where they will participate in hundreds of science experiments in biological and physical sciences, NASA officials said in a statement.

NASA was "even more capable" of accomplishing great things when it did so "as part of an global cooperation", Morgan said.

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

Sunday, July 21, on the global space station (ISS) came a new crew.

Expedition 60 is the space station mission that began June 24 and will end October 3.

The International Space Station has been orbiting Earth at about 28,000 kilometers per hour (17,000 miles per hour) since 1998.

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