Historic spaceflight involving US and Russian astronauts to launch this week from Kazakhstan

Image of a Soyuz space rocket. Credit: [email protected]

US and Russian astronauts will blast off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan this week in the historic first cross-flight between NASA and Roscosmos.

 

As reported by the BNN Newsroom, Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, announced this Sunday, September 18, that a NASA team has arrived in Kazakhstan at the Russia-operated Baikonur Cosmodrome.

The team has travelled to Kazakhstan ahead of the scheduled flight to the International Space Station (ISS) this Wednesday, September 21.

The joint spaceflight will involve two Russian cosmonauts along with US astronaut Frank Rubio. “A US delegation arrived in Baikonur to participate in the first cross-flight events on a Soyuz spacecraft – a NASA representative and a relative of US astronaut Frank Rubio”, said a Roscosmos statement.

Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin are the two cosmonauts taking part in this latest launch to the ISS. It will be the first time that a US astronaut has launched in a Russian spacecraft, with this one being a Soyuz MS-22. The delegation has reportedly already participated in the rollout of a Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle onto the cosmodrome’s launch pad. 

NASA and Roscosmos reached an agreement over this so-called cross-flight sharing programme. It entails US astronauts flying in a Russian spacecraft, and then later this Autumn, the second such seat-sharing flight in the programme is expected to take place.

It will involve a US Crew Dragon spacecraft and it is anticipated that Anna Kikina, Russia’s only active female cosmonaut, will be on that flight, as reported by newstracklive.com.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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