Crew Of Four, Including Russian Cosmonaut, Launches From U.S. On Mission To ISS
October 6, 2022
A Russian cosmonaut and three astronauts launched from the United States on
October 5 on a five-month mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
It was the first launch of a cosmonaut from the United States in 20 years and
took place despite tensions over the war in Ukraine.
The group of four spacefarers launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape
Canaveral, Florida, on a SpaceX rocket.
Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina joined Koichi Wakata of the Japanese space agency
and NASA astronauts Marine Colonel Nicole Mann, and Navy Captain Josh Cassada.
Wakata, who is making his fifth flight, is the only one of the foursome who has
traveled to space before.
“Awesome! said Mann as they reached orbit. "That was a smooth ride uphill.
You’ve got three rookies who are pretty happy to be floating in space right
They’re due to arrive at the space station on October 6 and won’t return to
Earth until March. They will replace a U.S.-Italian crew that arrived in April.
space agencies recently agreed to swap seats on their flights to the ISS in
order to ensure a continuous U.S. and Russian presence aboard the ISS.
Kikina, the fifth Russian woman in space, will replace NASA’s Frank Rubio, who
launched to the space station two weeks ago from Kazakhstan aboard a Soyuz
Kakina said she was surprised to be selected for the seat swap after
encountering “many tests and obstacles” during her decade of training. “But I
did it. I’m lucky maybe. I’m strong,” she said.
As for the war in Ukraine, Mann said all four have put politics and personal
beliefs aside, “and it’s really cool how the common mission of the space station
just instantly unites us.”
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