A Russian cosmonaut transported by SpaceX has arrived aboard the International Space Station

Scientific cooperation stronger than geopolitical tensions. Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina and three other crew members arrived at the International Space Station on Thursday after traveling aboard a spacecraft owned by the American company SpaceX. A joint flight between the United States and Russia that is particularly symbolic amid the war in Ukraine.

“We can’t wait to get to work,” said American astronaut Nicole Mann, the first Native American woman to fly into space, shortly after docking the spacecraft with the Space Station (ISS). It was SpaceX’s fifth regular mission to the ISS on behalf of NASA and the first US mission with a Russian cosmonaut since 2002. In addition to Anna Kikina and Nicole Mann, the crew, called Crew-5, also consists of the Japanese Koichi Wakata and the American astronaut Josh Casada.

Five months on board

The SpaceX rocket launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday and carried the Dragon capsule into space. This ship slowly approached the ISS on Thursday after a long journey of about 30 hours.

Crew-5 members will spend around five months in this flying laboratory around 400 kilometers above sea level. They join the seven people already on board (two Russians, four Americans and one Italian).

A few days of handover are planned for the four Crew 4 members before being sent back to Earth. They must land off the American coast by a date to be determined.

Two weeks ago, an American took off for the ISS on board a Russian Soyuz rocket. This long-planned astronaut exchange program has continued despite very high tensions between the United States and Russia since Moscow invaded Ukraine in February. Ensuring the operation of the ISS has thus become one of the very few topics of cooperation between the two countries.

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