The Soyuz MS-13 carrying Expedition 60 Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos, flight engineer Drew Morgan of NASA, and flight engineer Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency), launches at 12:28 p.m. EDT (9:28 p.m. Baikonur time) Saturday, July 20, 2019, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
After they arrive, they will be greeted by the three Expedition 60 crewmembers now on board the station: NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch, and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, who launched in March.
NASA was "even more capable" of accomplishing great things when it did so "as part of an worldwide cooperation", Morgan said.More news: Tesla's next-gen V3 Supercharger can charge 1,500 EVs a day
He was referring to NASA's Artemis program, the result of a recent Trump administration directive to land the first woman and the next man on the moon's surface four years earlier than the space agency had been planning. Coverage of the docking will take place starting at 6 p.m.
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. It will be the second for Parmitano, who spent 166 days in space during Expeditions 36 and 37 in 2013. The trio has been aboard the ISS since March, with Koch and Ovchinin scheduled to come back in February 2020 and Morgan sometime next spring.
Today's launch will be the first spaceflight for Morgan. "They are in the memory and in the hearts of every person on Earth. I hope we keep going forward".More news: SDCC 2019: Supergirl Season 5 Trailer
Their arrival restores the station's crew complement to six.
Morgan's spacecraft is expected to dock with the space station on Saturday evening.
Both the launch and the docking of the Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft will be broadcast live on NASA TV.More news: Google Pixel 4 Spotted in the Wild, Confirms recent leaked design
But those missions will depend on the successful testing and operational use of commercial crew ships being built by Boeing and SpaceX and it's too soon to say when the launch of a USA private astronaut mission might actually occur.