Despite post-war tensions in Ukraine, NASA and the Russian space agency have formally agreed to continue sending astronauts to the International space station on four future missions. .
According to the agreement between NASA and its Russian counterpart, "Roscosmos", in the first new missions, a Russian astronaut will be sent to the station by the Dragon SpaceX manned capsule and then an American astronaut by the Soyuz spacecraft in September. NASA spokesman Josh Finch said in a statement: "Joint crew flights ensure that trained and experienced astronauts are on the station for essential maintenance and spacewalks."
He added: "This issue also protects the station's operations against possible incidents such as problems with any manned spacecraft, serious medical problems of the crew, or emergencies at the station that require astronauts and specific vehicles to return early." It protects the earth from planning D."
As expected, NASA astronaut Frank Rubio along with Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin on the Soyuz mission MS-22, which is scheduled to be launched on September 21 (30 September) from the Baikonur space base in Kazakhstan, will go to the station. Soyuz MS-23, the next manned Soyuz mission including NASA astronaut Loral O'Hara, Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub, will depart for the space station next spring. p>
Meanwhile, Russian astronaut Anna Kikina along with Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata. They will fly in September during the "Crew-5" mission. Russian Andrey Fedyaev will join NASA astronauts Steve Bowen and Woody Hoburg as part of the Crew-6 mission. About this agreement, Finch noted: "This non-financial agreement includes transportation to and from the International space station and comprehensive mission support, including training and preparation for launch, flight operations, landing and crew rescue services. .
The announcement was made on Friday shortly after the Kremlin announced that Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin had been fired. Rogozin will be replaced by Yury Borisov, a former deputy prime minister.
During his four years in office, Rogozin had very difficult relations with his Western counterparts and seemed to be more than trying to survive. The International space station was more interested in attracting the attention of Vladimir Putin, the president of this country.
A well-informed source said that this coincidence was a coincidence. However, it appears that NASA will not be upset by the departure of Rogozin, who has made increasingly inflammatory remarks and threats against space station operations since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. NASA officials have said that their good working relationship with other top Roscosmos executives helped push through agreements to send astronauts despite Rogozin's uneasy leadership.
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The continued presence of crews throughout the International space station program is a regular occurrence, and despite geopolitical tensions, it is an important symbol of cooperation between Russia and the United States of America. . A Russian cosmonaut, Sergei Krikalev, was the first Russian to fly on an American space vehicle, the space Shuttle, in 1994. A year later, NASA astronaut Norman Thagard went to the Mir space station with the Soyuz capsule.
After the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011, NASA had to transfer the crew to the space station to Russia should rely and pay Russia about 90 million dollars for each seat. Now, even though there is a manned Dragon capsule, NASA no longer needs to send astronauts to Russia, but Russia, by providing a safe transportation process, made the agreement continue.
In this way, the joint cooperation of the two countries in sending astronauts will continue. Desh and Kikina will be the first Russian astronauts to board an American vehicle other than the space Shuttle.
Cover photo: International space station in Earth
Source: Ars Technica