Colonel Andrew Morgan, Special Forces surgeon is getting ready to blast off into space on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. He is a veteran of two deployments to Afghanistan and one to Iraq, is set for a July 20 launch on a nine-month mission to the International Space Station for his first time in space. He'll launch with his Russian and Italian crewmates aboard a Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, according to NASA.

In a phone interview Friday, Morgan said he feels fortunate to be part of such an auspicious launch. "The mission starts on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing" he said. "Coming through the hatch on that day carries a lot of symbolism." Andrew plans to draw on his military experience during the mission. His resume includes work with the Army's Golden Knights parachute team and a stint as battalion surgeon for 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), the Desert Eagles, before he joined NASA in 2013.

"The Army recognizes that soldiers travel on their stomachs" he said. Space food is similar to MREs, but there's more variety, since the other nations sending astronauts to the space station bring their own food, he said. The space mission is a "great honor" but, Morgan said that long after he returns he will cherish his time in combat with soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.

"It was the greatest honor of my life" he said. Read more.

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