A NASA astronaut boards a Russian Soyuz rocket, along with two other Russian cosmonauts, to fly to the International Space Station or the ISS.

The monumental launch comes several months after the geopolitical tension among the two giant nations has emerged since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has taken off.

nasa astronaut flies on russian soyuz rocket to iss! first time since ukraine conflict?

(Photo : Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)
BAIKONUR, KAZAKHSAN – SEPTEMBER 21: In this handout provided by NASA, the Soyuz MS-22 rocket is launched to the International Space Station with Expedition 68 astronaut Frank Rubio of NASA, and cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin of Roscosmos onboard, on September 21, 2022, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Rubio, Prokopyev, and Petelin will spend approximately six months on the orbital complex, returning to Earth in March 2023.

NASA Astronaut Boards a Russian Soyuz Rocket

The launch of the Russian rocket was streamed live by both space agencies of the two countries, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Roscosmos.

According to a recent report by Interesting Engineering, the cooperation between the United States and the Russian nation has become rarer these days, and the recent trip to the ISS is one of a few.

The Russian rocket launched straight from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, which the world’s largest country runs, on the morning of September 21.

The crewed mission includes a single NASA astronaut, Frank Rubio, and two cosmonauts, Dmitri Petelin and Sergey Prokopyev.

Interesting Engineering notes that the folks at the crewed mission are staying in the space station for roughly six months.

As per a news story by CNN, the NASA astronaut, Rubio, is flying to space for the first time. But despite that, he is the flight engineer on his trip to the ISS via the Russian rocket.

NASA Astronauts, Russian Cosmonauts in the ISS

It is worth mentioning that they would be joining crew members that have been there before they arrived. It includes one astronaut from the Italian European Space Agency (ESA), three NASA astronauts, and three Russian cosmonauts.

Upon their arrival, the number of Russian cosmonauts on the ISS balloons to five, while NASA has four astronauts on board.

CNN notes in the same report that NASA used to rely on the Russian Soyuz for its flights to the ISS. In fact, the US space agency was paying roughly $90 million per seat on the Russian rocket until SpaceX entered the picture.

This time, the space firm of ultra-rich billionaire Elon Musk is boarding NASA astronauts in their missions to the space station. It has been the case since NASA started allowing private firms to launch their crewed missions.

SpaceX to Fly Russian Cosmonaut

Interesting Engineering reports that a Russian cosmonaut is also flying on SpaceX spacecraft next month.

The only active female cosmonaut, Anna Kikina, is joining the Crew-5 mission of SpaceX to the space station in a few more days or on October 3.

Written by Teejay Boris

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