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First Russia-US seat-sharing spaceflight looms

A NASA delegation has arrived at Baikonur cosmodrome ahead of the first flight under the program

A team of NASA specialists has arrived at the Russia-operated Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Russian space agency Roscosmos said Saturday. The visit comes in preparation of the upcoming flight to the International Space Station (ISS), involving US astronaut Frank Rubio and scheduled for Wednesday.

“The US delegation arrived in Baikonur to participate in the preparations of the first seat-sharing flight on the Soyuz spacecraft – these are NASA representatives and relatives of astronaut Frank Rubio,” Roscosmos said in a statement.

The delegation has already taken part in the rollout of a Soyuz-2.1a spacecraft onto the cosmodrome’s launch pad. The rocket is set to blast off for the ISS on Wednesday, carrying Rubio, as well as Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmirty Petelin.


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The upcoming flight is the first operation under the seat-sharing program, agreed by Moscow and Washington earlier this year despite the ever-worsening ties between the two nations, further complicated by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

The landmark seat-sharing deal was reached back in July, coinciding with the departure of Russia’s long-time space boss Dmitry Rogozin, who was replaced by Yury Borisov in a government reshuffle.

The second flight under the seat-sharing program is expected to take place later this autumn, with the mission flying a US Crew Dragon spacecraft. The flight is expected to involve Anna Kikina, the only woman on Russia’s active cosmonaut roster.


https://ift.tt/ueXDhAO 18, 2022 at 09:44PM
from RT – Daily news

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