Moscow, July 21 (IANS) Russia’s Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft carrying three astronauts successfully took off for the International Space Station (ISS) and entered the planned orbit on Saturday, Russian state space corporation Roscosmos said.
The Soyuz-FG rocket blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 7.28 p.m. (Moscow time), Roscosmos said in a press release, Xinhua news agency reported.
At 7.37 p.m., the spacecraft detached from the third launch vehicle stage and continued its autonomous flight to the ISS under the guidance of specialists from the Russian Mission Control Centre.
Soyuz MS-13, carrying Roscosmos astronaut Alexander Skvortsov (commander), Luca Parmitano (flight engineer-1) from Italy and Andrew Morgan (flight engineer-2) of the US, will automatically approach the ISS and dock to it at 1..50 a.m (Moscow time) on Sunday.
The new expedition will join Roscosmos astronaut Alexei Ovchinin, and NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch on the ISS.
The space launch was conducted on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing of the US Apollo 11 spacecraft.
Commander Neil Armstrong descended a ladder onto the lunar surface and became the first man to complete what he famously described as “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.