Four astronauts join seven in space—USA and Russia together

International Space Station accommodating USA and Russian astronauts/Shutterstock/Images

Space travel is way beyond the political tensions of Earth as a SpaceX crew carrying two US astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut plus a United Arab Emirates astronaut arrived safely at the International Space Station (ISS) early on Friday.

The Dragon capsule dubbed Endeavour docked at the ISS almost 25 hours after launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The ISS and capsule flew in tandem at 17,500 miles per hour (28,164 kph) some 250 miles (240 km) above Earth across the coast of East Africa, according to a live NASA webcast.

On arrival, the crew prepared to conduct a series of standard leak checks and to pressurize the passageway between the capsule and the ISS before they can open the hatch to the interior of the space station.

The team will be welcomed aboard the ISS by seven current occupants: three NASA crew members, including commander Nicole Aunapu Mann, the first Native American woman to fly to space, along with three Russians and a Japanese astronaut

These seven are due to leave the ISS this month and the four that arrived today will return in October.

The team arriving today, designated Crew 6, will conduct more than 200 experiments and technology demonstrations while at the ISS, ranging from research on human cell growth in space to controlling combustible materials in microgravity.

Their six-month mission will help pave the way for long-duration trips to the Moon and beyond under the NASA Artemis program, NASA said.

Billionaire Elon Musk’s private rocket venture, SpaceX, began sending American astronauts to orbit in May 2020.

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