ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano was launched to the International Space Station from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan alongside NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and Roscosmos commander Alexander Skvortsov on Saturday 20 July 2019. The trio orbited Earth four times in their Russian Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft before docking to the Station six hours and 20 minutes later at 00:48 CEST Sunday 21 July.
This clip shows a few of the highlights from the lead-up to launch through to docking.
Luca and his crew mates were welcomed to the Station by NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut and current Space Station commander Alexei Ovchinin when the Soyuz hatch opened at 03:04 CEST on 21 July. This marked the start of Expedition 60 and Luca's second space mission 'Beyond'.
Luca will support more than 50 European experiments as well as over 200 international experiments. These include investigations into how aspects of the human body are affected by microgravity and how astronauts could control robots remotely during lunar exploration.
When Alexei Ovchinin departs the Space Station at the end of Expedition 60, Luca will also take on the role of Space Station commander for Expedition 61. This is the third time a European astronaut and the first time an ESA astronaut from Italy has held this position. Luca will follow ESA astronauts Frank De Winne (2009) and Alexander Gerst (2018) when he takes command later this year.