NASA astronaut and ‘crewmates’ arrive at ISS
Posted on 06 Aug 2019 and read 1039 times
Fifty years to the day after astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the Moon, three humans arrived at the International Space Station (20 July), which has been continuously occupied for more than 18 years.
The Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan, Luca Parmitano (of the European Space Agency) and Alexander Skvortsov (of the Russian space agency Roscosmos) was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and docked with the station’s Zvezda service module after a four-orbit 6hr flight.
Their arrival restored the station’s crew complement to six; they joined NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch, as well as Expedition 60 commander Alexey Ovchinin.
The crew will spend more than six months conducting about 250 investigations in fields that include biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development.
One of the key technology developments will be the arrival and installation of the second docking port for commercial crew spacecraft; Hague and Morgan are scheduled to conduct a spacewalk no earlier than mid-August to install the docking port, connect power and data cables, and install a new high-definition camera as part of on-going upgrades to the station’s external camera system.
Parmitano and Skvortsov are scheduled to remain aboard the ISS with Koch until February 2020, while Morgan will stay longer.
Hague and Ovchinin are set to return to Earth on 3 October.
More than 230 people from 18 countries have been to the ISS, which has hosted more than 2,500 research investigations suggested by researchers in 106 countries.