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NASA astronaut, Russian cosmonauts launch to space

Russian cosmonauts launch to space

Russian cosmonauts launch to space
New York CNN Enterprise  — 

A Russian capsule took an American astronaut to area in the present day, marking a notable continuation of the Russian-US partnership in area in an period of great geopolitical tension.

The spacecraft took off from the famed Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying NASA astronaut Dr. Frank Rubio and two Russian cosmonauts — Dmitri Petelin and Sergey Prokopyev — on what is anticipated to be a six-month keep on the Worldwide House Station. Liftoff occurred at 9:54 a.m. ET. Just a few hours later, simply after 1 p.m. ET, the Soyuz capsule docked with the ISS, permitting the astronauts to board the area station.

That is the primary journey to area for Rubio, who will function a flight engineer on this mission. A skilled household doctor, he additionally has expertise as a flight surgeon — that means he’s received the chops to maintain any medical points that would come up throughout their journey.

Rubio, a Florida native, joined NASA in 2017. Previous to his acceptance within the astronaut corps, he graduated from the US Navy Academy and earned a doctorate of drugs from the Uniformed Providers College of the Well being Sciences. He has greater than 600 hours of fight expertise in nations together with Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Rubio considers Miami his hometown, based on NASA, though he was born in California and his mom lives in El Salvador.

When Rubio and his Russian counterparts make it to the area station, they’ll be tag-teaming with astronauts from america, Russia and Europe. The area station, which has repeatedly had folks on board because the 12 months 2000, retains a rotating base of crew members to make sure the orbiting laboratory is constantly staffed with sufficient astronauts to take care of the area station’s {hardware} in addition to maintain a prolonged log of space-based experiments working.

The truth that Rubio is touring to area on a Russian Soyuz capsule is notable.

The historical past of getting people to and from the Worldwide House Station started with Russia and america every having their very own rockets to get their residents to and from the ISS, which grew to become a logo of post-Chilly Battle cooperation within the late twentieth century and early 2000s. However after 2011, when NASA retired its House Shuttle program, Russia’s Soyuz capsules have been the one possibility for US astronauts. NASA has been paying as much as $90 million for seats aboard a Soyuz spacecraft.

In 2020, that modified. NASA had, years earlier than, cooked up its own plan to permit privatized corporations to take over the duty of shuttling astronauts to and from the area station. And Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been doing that ever since, starting with the Demo-2 mission in 2020 and, most lately, gearing up for the Crew-5 mission. SpaceX’s launches have change into routine for NASA, permitting it to take again some management over how the ISS is staffed.

The strain between america and Russia, nonetheless, hit a fever pitch after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

However after years of sharing rides on Russian Soyuz autos earlier than SpaceX got here onto the scene, one of many massive questions that cropped up was whether or not america and Russia would proceed to place their astronauts facet by facet on ISS missions.

That was answered in July when NASA and its Russian counterpart, Roscosmos, confirmed that sharing seats on rocket rides to the area station would proceed. Russian cosmonauts are actually anticipated to fly on SpaceX capsules along with NASA astronauts sharing seats on Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

The USA and Russia are the first operators of the ISS, with each nations controlling its day-to-day operations. Importantly, the Russian-controlled phase homes the propulsion that’s essential to maintain the ISS afloat in Earth’s orbit. And NASA has repeatedly said that one in every of its objectives is to make sure continued cooperation between the US and Russia in area.

Rubio, as many US astronauts had achieved earlier than him, traveled to Russia to coach with Russian cosmonauts forward of this mission.

“It’s been a privilege to be right here,” he instructed CNN’s Kristin Fisher throughout an August press conference. “We’ve got a fairly sturdy NASA workforce that’s right here to assist the mission … I feel each one in every of us would say we do really feel protected.”

Russian cosmonauts launch to space

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