Watch Expedition 63 Launch and Dock With the ISS!

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The crew of Expedition 63 Successfully Launched This Morning!

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, along with Rosmocos crewmates Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner left the planet this morning. Together they comprise the International Space Station’s (ISS) Expedition 62-63 crew. And at around 3 am EDT, today, they launched into orbit aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket from a launchpad in Kazakhstan. And now, they are safe aboard the ISS. The Expedition 63 crew joins Expedition 62 astronauts Jessica Meir, Andrew Morgan, Commander Oleg Skripochka (Rosmocos). As such, Cassidy (commander of Expedition 63) and his team officially serve on Expedition 62 until a change of command ceremony on April 15. At that time, Meir, Morgan, and Skripochka will prepare to come home. 

About the Crew

  • Commander Chris Cassidy (50) used to be a Navy SEAL. However, some people just can’t stop being awesome. So became an astronaut, too. Now he’s in space for the third time in his life. In other words, he’s a very driven and lucky dude!
  • Rosmocos cosmonaut Anatoli Ivanishnin (51) used to fly Migs for a living. Then he became a cosmonaut and now he, too, is in space for the third time. Again, some people, right?
  • Finally, Rosmocos cosmonaut Ivan Vagner, the youngest of the bunch at 34, made his name as an engineer. After earning his master’s degree in aeronautical engineering in 2008, he began a career with Rosmocos and graduated cosmonaut school in 2012. Though he was originally scheduled to serve on Expedition 53-54, he was ultimately removed from the mission because of cutbacks. This will be his first ISS mission.  

Safety Precautions

Of course, Meir, Morgan, and Skripochka have been in space throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, so there’s no chance of them bringing the virus back to earth. But what about the Expedition 63 crew? Well, as you would expect, officials aren’t taking any chances (short of abandoning the mission altogether). In fact, according to Cassidy, “We are implementing the exact same precautions as the rest of the world is, with social distancing.” He then continued in an interview before launch, “The whole group has been very strict about no interactions beside the control team.”

Ivanishnin echoed that, saying, “We have been completely isolated at this final stage.”

Watch the Launch:

The trip to the ISS took the Expedition 63 crew about six hours. Then, once they arrived, they docked with the space station at approximately 10:15 am EDT this morning. You can watch that video below:

Docking with the ISS:

Tomorrow, NASA TV will feature astronauts Meir, Morgan, and Cassidy on a live press conference. We will, of course, have coverage here on Space.porn!

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Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

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