Today at 15:54 Norwegian time, three cosmonauts took off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
American Frank Rubio sat at the rocket with Russian Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitry Petlin.
In doing so, Rubio became the first American to go to the International Space Station since Putin began the war in Ukraine on February 24 of this year.
– This is a very important task. Cooperation with Roskosmos (Russian Space Agency, editor) is good. Rubio added: “I have become a good friend to my Russian colleagues NEWSWEEK 2 weeks ago
After a three-hour flight, the trio reached the International Space Station around 19 – Norwegian time.
The three astronauts will operate the space station for six months. They seem to be among the last to have the chance to visit the International Space Station.
I think it’s important that when there are high tensions elsewhere, we continue to cooperate in space travel. Rubio said of the trip that it is a form of diplomacy and partnership that we can find common interests and accomplish great things together.
After President Vladimir Putin began the war in Ukraine, relations with the United States and the West were disastrously poor, and many feared that this would have consequences for space cooperation.
Russia announce At the end of July, they will withdraw from the station from 2024. They will focus on building their own station.
The end of 26 years of cooperation
Russia’s withdrawal from the International Space Station marks the end of a 26-year-old collaborative project between five different space agencies:
- NASA (USA).
- Roscosmos (Russia).
- ESA (Europe, including Norway).
- JAXA, Japan Aerospace Research Organization.
Since 1998, the 109-meter-wide spacecraft has received more than 250 astronauts from 20 different countries.
Space X will send four new astronauts in October
Rubio, Prokopiev and Petlin will be joined by four additional astronauts early next month.
Among these four are two American astronauts at NASA, a Japanese astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut, Anna Kekina.
Kikina is the only active Russian cosmonaut. She became the fifth woman from Russia and the former Soviet Union to visit the International Space Station.
The group will travel to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon rocket in early October. Then the launch will take place in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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