Space crew blast off for ISS

NASA’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in 1969
American, Italian and Russian astronauts blasted off into space on Saturday, in a launch coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, NASA’s Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency are part of the crew. The blast off comes on the same date that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in 1969, marking a defining moment in the so-called “space race” with the Soviet Union. Of the trio, only 53-year-old Mr. Skvortsov was alive at the time of the moon landing. A veteran of two ISS missions, Mr. Skvortsov will be the flight commander for the six-hour journey from Baikonur to the ISS. Mr. Morgan is flying for the first time. Mr. Parmitano’s previous stint at the ISS lasted 166 days and saw him become the first Italian to carry out a spacewalk. Five decades after the 1969 moon landing, Russia and the U.S. are still competing in space, even if the emphasis is on cooperation at the ISS. NASA no longer operates manned flights to the ISS leaving it wholly dependent on Roscosmos’ Soyuz program.

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