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Soyuz dock crew with space station; Pence confirms the commitment to moon missions – Spaceflight Now

The new crew members delivered to the space station from the Soyuz MS-13 ship – Luke Parmitano, Alexander Skvortsov and Andrew Morgan – join three other members the crew of Expedition 60 International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

Fifty years after the day when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, a NASA astronaut, an Italian flight engineer and a Russian commander exploded from Kazakhstan on Saturday at a Soyuz spacecraft, pursuing the International Space Station and entering good docking picture.

A few hours earlier at the Kennedy Space Center, Vice President Mike Pens celebrated the Apollo 11 anniversary with Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the Moon, members of the Armstrong family, and dozens of space industry leaders and legislators, confirming the Commitment of Trump to send astronauts back to the moon in 2024 as a prelude to possible flights to Mars.

In the White House on Friday, President Trump questioned the need to return to the moon, asking Aldrin and Apollo 1

1 of Mike Collins crew to think about the approach directly to Mars. But in an interview for CBS News at Saturday's spaceport in Florida, Pence said the moon remains a priority.

"That's 100% correct," said Pens. "We understand when we go to Mars – Americans go to Mars – that we will need to develop new technologies, new equipment and gain new experience that we can only gain on the moon. The President fully supports this. … And I could not be more excited to be part of it. "

Vice President Mike Pens speaks at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Saturday, with the Orion spacecraft for the Artemis 1 mission in the background. Credit: NASA / Kim Shiflet

Half of the world in the Baikonur cosmode in Kazakhstan, former NASA Cold War rivals, was aimed at attracting three new crew members to the International Space Station.

Commander Soyuz MS-13 / 59C Alexander Skvortsov, Italian second pilot Luca Parmitano and NASA astronaut physician Andrew Morgan emerged from the start-up platform of Yuri Gagarin in the growing cosmic center of Kazakhstan at 12:28 PM EDT (9: 28 pm local time), the first step in four orbits meeting with the laboratory complex

The launch time was accidental with the landing of Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969. the crew had the honor of serving as a symbolic link between the past when the United States and the former Soviet Union were engaged in the race of the Cold War and today, when international co-operation is the rule and not the exception. can not think of a better way to mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo's moon landing than to commence an international crew anniversary, especially in the light of NASA's confirmation that we intend to land a crew on the surface of the moon in 2024 "Morgan said, before he left.

Armstrong and Aldrin, leaving Collins in the moon's orbit, landed on the moon at 4:18 pm EDT on July 20, 1969. This 50-year stage occurred when the crew of the Soyuz MS-13 / 59S invaded the International Space Station station after smooth ascent.

The Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft was thrown out of Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1628: 20 GMT (12:28:20 pm EDT) on Saturday. Scottz, Parmitano, and Morgan performed a series of carefully crafted missiles to catch up with the laboratory complex to board the stern of the Russian Star Module at 18:48. The hatches are expected to be opened later, after long checks, to check hermetically-sealed structural seal between the two spaceships.

"I wanted to congratulate you on the beautiful, spectacular start and short trip to the ISS," Kirk Shireman, NASA Space Station Leader, Baikonur. – Welcome to your new home. "Thank you, Mr. Shireman," Morgan said. – The crew feels great and I feel great. I got my first views from the ISS windows and it's as beautiful as I imagined. Thanks for the support of all. "

The expedition commander Alexei Ovchinin and the NASA flight engineers Nick Hag and Christina Koch welcomed to welcome the new crew members on board. They were put on the station on March 14th aboard the Soyuz MS-12 / 58S and were on board the lab on June 24, when three crew members returned to Earth.

Their substitutions brought rich experience at the station. , Skvortsov is a veteran of two previous stays aboard the laboratory, while Parmitano has completed a long flight in 2013, dealing with an agonizing emergency in space. Morgan, Colonel of the Army who made his first space flight, is an advanced physician with extensive experience in special operations.

After a short video chat with friends and family in Baikonur, along with the mandatory safety briefings, Skvortsov and the company will settle in and perhaps mark the moment at 22:56 on Saturday, when Armstrong stepped on the Sea of Peacefulness 50 years ago.

"The Moon's mission and the moon's landing, the first steps of the human being on the Moon's surface, are so important," Skvortsov said before the launch. – They are in the memory and in the hearts of every man on Earth. Such significant events show how important it is to move forward. I hope we will continue. "

NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan, Russian astronaut Alexander Skvortsov and Italian aviation engineer Luca Parmitano during training in Star City, Russia. Credit: NASA / Beth Weissinger

The expanded six-man crew faces extremely busy summer and spacefalls, with numerous walks in space, the arrival and departure of numerous vehicles and a full range of scientific research. After the arrival of the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship at the end of next week and on the Progress Russian cargo ship on July 31, the crew will meet an unpaved Soyuz ship on August 24th. A test flight designed to clear the missile for manned shots next year.

A month later, on September 25, another Soyuz will be launched to take on MS-15 / 61S commander Oleg Skripochka, NASA flying engineer Jessica Meir and visiting cosmonaut Hazzaa Ali Almansoori from the United Arab Emirates. He will be the first non-professional flight or a space flight participant to visit the station as Cirque du Soleil co-founder Guy Lalberte finished the tenth such stay in 2009.

NASA is preparing for its own trade visitors a program to promote the use of spacelab by the private sector. In October 2020, NASA's inner space station appeared for the first potential "private astronaut mission" with PAM's second flight in March 2021.

But these missions will depend on the successful testing and operational use of the sales team. ships that are being built by Boeing and SpaceX and it's too early to say when the private astronaut mission in the United States can happen.

In any case, Almansoori will join Ovchinin and The Hague for their return to Earth on October 3rd. seat on board the Soyuz MS-12 / 58S. Koch's mission was extended after reaching orbit and now plans to descend on February 6 after 328 days in space.

If this schedule continues, she will record the longest flight ever by a female astronaut and just one 12 days on the American record of astronaut Scott Kelly.

Morgan also flew an extended mission. He will take Almansori to the Soyuz MS-15 / 61S spacecraft and return to Earth with Scrapock and Meir on April 1, 2020 to close a 256-day mission, the fourth longest single flight from an American astronaut. "It will be a whole school year for me," Morgan said. "I have four children and all of them are in school age, ranging from 15 to 8 years of age. […] It feels a bit more real when you miss an entire school year, so it makes it much more noticeable. "But, you know, Christina, she'll be aboard a year. We will ask the astronauts to fly for two, two and a half years (for missions on Mars). We just take gradual steps to understand what it will be like. "

Including being away from our family.

"The thing I'm going to miss most on Earth is absolutely my family," Morgan said. , "As a soldier I spent some time away from home as part of military operations. This will be long, it will be a challenge in different ways. So this will be the biggest challenge. "

Morgan, Koch and their crews face one of the most challenging stations they have ever tried, with at least 11 planned between the city and January, along with the arrival of two Progress delivery ships, a Japanese freighter ship HTV, cargo ship Northrop Grumman Cygnus and two space dragons.

The crew can also meet the first manned Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon, a commercially-designed spacecraft for NASA to put an end to the agency's only dependence on Russian Soyuz.

Boeing hopes to launch an unmanned test flight to Starliner in September or early October, followed by a flight crew flight around December 1. The Dragon Crew is testing a flight to the station and is working to overcome the next failure of the test that has delayed the first piloted flight. visit us while we are on board, "said Morgan. "It is a really exciting time, important for our country, but it is really important that the IAS program has other ways to get crews to board. We look forward to seeing this happen during our time on board. "But the greatest challenge for the crew, perhaps, would be to run a dozen or so space transitions between now and January. plan to complete the installation of a second docking port on Harmony's front module on the station to accommodate commercial crew ships. The International Docking Adapter, or IDA, is scheduled to be released on Wednesday on a Dragon freighter.

Then, at the end of September, two space paths to replace the batteries in the solar energy system of the laboratory are planned. In January, two more EVA batteries are planned to be exchanged.

There are at least five complex space paths between Parmitano and Morgan planned to repair a particle physics experiment, known as an alpha-magnetic spectrometer, which is not designed to be orbiting

Space travelers will collide with some of the most complicated work, as space astronauts have repaired and upgraded the Hubble Space Telescope. collided with a life-threatening leak of water during a space trip on July 16, 2013, which flooded his helmet and forced them back into the emergency room at the station.

"At that time I was so focused on resolving the emergency situation that I was not thinking about the danger, I was not thinking about the possibility of dying," he said in an interview. "There is a tendency to make things brighter when you put them on the screen or when you record it." But from a technological point of view, this was a failure we have not spoken of, and I am glad and very glad that this emergency will never be repeated. "

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