Former Fort Bragg doctor joins NC State grad aboard International Space Station

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In this frame grab taken from video on Saturday, July 13, 2019, and distributed by Roscosmos Space Agency Press Service, a Russian Proton-M rocket takes off from the launch pad at Russia’s space facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. A Russian Proton-M rocket successfully delivered a cutting-edge space telescope into orbit Saturday after days of launch delays, Russia’s space agency said. (Roscosmos Space Agency Press Service photo via AP)

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP/WNCN) — A Russian space capsule with three astronauts aboard — including one with a North Carolina connection — has docked with the International Space Station after a fast-track trip to the orbiting laboratory.

The Soyuz capsule docked at 22:48 GMT Saturday, just six hours and 20 minutes after blasting off from Russia’s launch complex in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

The launch took place on the 50th anniversary of the day U.S. astronauts landed on the moon.

The capsule is carrying Andrew Morgan of the United States on his first spaceflight. Morgan is an emergency physician in the U.S. Army and a former Fort Bragg flight doctor.

Also blasting off Saturday were Russian Alexander Skvortsov on his third mission to the space station and Italian Luca Parmitano.

They will join Russian Alexey Ovchinin and Americans Nick Hague and Christina Koch have been aboard since March.

Koch is a graduate of North Carolina State University.

The crew patch for the expedition echoes the one from Apollo 11’s 1969 lunar mission.

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