Russian, US astronauts blast off on moon landing anniversary

Russian, US astronauts blast off on moon landing anniversary

U.S. astronaut Andrew Morgan, speaks with his relatives through the safety glass prior the launch of Soyuz-FG rocket at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Saturday, July 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) — A Russian space capsule with three astronauts aboard has blasted off for a fast-track trip to the International Space Station.

Saturday’s launch took place on the 50th anniversary of the day U.S. astronauts landed on the moon.

The capsule entered orbit nine minutes after liftoff from Russia’s launch complex in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

It is carrying Andrew Morgan of the United States on his first spaceflight, Russian Alexander Skvortsov on his third mission to the space station and Italian Luca Parmitano.

The capsule is expected to dock with the International Space Station after four obits at 2251 GMT. Russian Alexey Ovchinin and Americans Nick Hague and Christina Koch have been aboard since March.

The crew patch for the expedition echoes the one from Apollo 11’s 1969 lunar mission.

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This story has been corrected to show the last name of the Russian cosmonaut in space since March is Ovchinin, not Ovechkin.


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