Soyuz rocket flies to space station with American-Russian crew on board
Moscow, Sep 21 (EFE).- A Soyuz spacecraft with a joint United States-Russian crew blasted off to the International Space Station (ISS) Wednesday.
On board the Soyuz MS-22 are Russian cosmonauts Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin, as well as US astronaut Frank Rubio. They took off at 13:54 GMT from Russia’s Baikonur spaceport in the steppes of Kazakhstan.
The Soyuz capsule is expected to take three hours to arrive at the ISS.
The three-member crew will join ISS Expedition 67 leader Oleg Artemyev, cosmonauts Sergey Korsakov and Denis Matveev, Nasa astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Jessica Watkins, and Bob Hines, and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.
This mission is the first of a series of cross-flights with a Russian-US crew amid tensions between the two space powers in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Prokopyev, Petelin and Rubio will spend six months on the orbital platform, during which there will be five spacewalks and research on microgravity and its impact on the human body, as well as experiments related to the possibility of manufacturing human organs.
This is Rubio’s first flight since he became an astronaut in 2017.
Before the blastoff, the 46-year-old US astronaut of Salvadorian origin said he was proud of not only representing his country but also for having a family back in El Salvador, where he lived until he was six years old.
Rubio, born in Los Angeles, graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and received his doctor of medicine degree from the US Uniformed Services University of Sciences.EFE