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Watch three astronauts launch to space on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing

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Going to space on a very important day

This afternoon, the next round of astronauts are headed to the International Space Station, the same day as the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. A three-person crew — made up of NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan, Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, and Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency — are heading to space on top of a Russian Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan.

The trio will be joining the three current members of the International Space Station — NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch, as well as Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin. All three have been aboard since March, when they launched to the ISS. For Hague and Ovchinin, that trip was actually their second launch to the station, after their first flight ended in an emergency landing. For Koch, it’s her fist stay on the ISS and it’s going to be a significant one. She’ll be staying on the station until February of 2020 which sets her up to break the record for longest continuous spaceflight by a woman.

Among the new crew, Morgan is also slated for an extended stay. His fellow crew members will be coming back in February along with Koch, but Morgan will be coming back in the spring of 2020, making his trip nearly a year long. Most astronauts stay just six months on the ISS.

NASA has been lengthening the trips for some of its ISS crews as the agency prepares to start flying people on new vehicles over the next year. Since 2011, NASA has relied on the Russian Soyuz to transport people to and from the ISS, but soon two commercial companies, SpaceX and Boeing, will start flying NASA astronauts to the station. Those vehicles aren’t ready to fly people yet though, and it’s possible they won’t be ready until early next year. Meanwhile, NASA has only a few seats left on future flights of Russia’s Soyuz vehicle, which means the agency will be without a ride very soon. Until SpaceX and Boeing are up and running, NASA is keeping its astronauts on the ISS a little longer than normal to ensure that the station continues to have US astronauts aboard.

Morgan and his crew mates are scheduled to take off at 12:28PM ET from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They’ll meet up with the ISS just six hours after launch and dock around 6:50PM ET. About two hours after that, the spacecraft’s hatches will open and the crew will be greeted by their new roommates.

NASA’s coverage of the launch will begin at 11:30AM ET, and the show will immediately be followed by remarks from Vice President Mike Pence, who is scheduled to give a speech about the Apollo 11 anniversary at 1PM ET from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Check back tomorrow to watch humans fly to space, 50 years after people first set foot on the Moon.