A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying a US astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday and efficiently reached orbit, dwell footage broadcast by Russia’s area company Roscosmos confirmed.
The crew members travelling to the International Space Station (ISS) are Kate Rubins, a NASA microbiologist who in 2016 grew to become the primary particular person to sequence DNA in area, and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.
The mission is the final scheduled Russian flight carrying a US crew member.
Since the area shuttle programme resulted in 2011, NASA has relied on Russia to ferry its astronauts to the area station, an orbiting laboratory 250 miles above Earth that has housed worldwide crews of astronauts repeatedly for almost 20 years.
NASA has bought further crew seats from Russia as its public-private crew programme confronted delays, with Rubins’ mission being the latest.
The US is scheduled to start operational missions on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule.
“We have an incredible partnership,” Rubins mentioned in an interview from Russia’s Star City earlier than her flight. “We’ll continue to train crews over here and we’re going to have cosmonauts come to the Johnson Space Center and train.”
NASA and Roscosmos have dedicated to proceed the flight-sharing partnership and are in talks to fly Russian astronauts on US autos and to fly US astronauts on Russian rockets when wanted, a spokesperson for Roscosmos informed Reuters.
“Of course, mutual flights are of interest for ISS reliability and continuous operations,” the spokesperson mentioned. “This approach (mixed crew flights) will ensure delivery of the crew to the station, should a problem with the partner spacecraft occur.”
© Thomson Reuters 2020
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