US takes a Russian cosmonaut to the ISS as the conflict in Ukraine continues


(L-R) Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina, NASA astronaut Josh Cassada, NASA astronaut Nicole Mann and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata – Copyright AFP Dimitar DILKOFF

A SpaceX capsule carrying a Russian crew member docked with the Worldwide Area Station on Thursday in a NASA mission that carries vital symbolism amid the struggle in Ukraine.

The Crew Dragon “Endurance” spacecraft lifted off Wednesday from Florida and rendezvoused with the orbiting analysis outpost about 30 hours later, docking at 5:01 pm ET (2301 GMT).

“Crew 5 is blissful to have lastly arrived on the Worldwide Area Station,” stated Commander Nicole Mann, the primary Native American girl in area. “We’re wanting ahead to attending to work.”

Additionally on board: Koichi Wakata of Japan, Josh Cassada of the US, and Anna Kikina of Russia, the one feminine cosmonaut presently serving.

About two hours after docking, the hatches will open permitting the crew to hitch seven others already on the station: two Russians, 4 People and one Italian.

Two weeks in the past, an American astronaut took off on a Russian Soyuz rocket for the orbital platform.

The long-planned astronaut alternate program has been held regardless of rising tensions between the US and Russia since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

Guaranteeing the operation of the ISS has turn out to be one of many few remaining areas of cooperation between the US and Russia.

Throughout a post-launch briefing, Sergei Krikalev, head of the human area program at Roscosmos, hailed the event as the start of a “new section of our cooperation,” evoking the historic 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission, a logo of detente within the top of the Chilly Battle.

Krikalev, a former cosmonaut revered by his American colleagues, has been on one thing of a appeal offensive after Roscosmos’ final boss, Dmitry Rogozin, threatened earlier this yr to withdraw cooperation and let the ISS crash on US or European territory.

Whereas Russia has introduced plans for its personal station, analysts consider it could be troublesome to construct for years to come back, and withdrawing from the ISS would successfully floor Moscow’s once-proud civilian area program.

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