Technology: SpaceX is preparing to send a Russian in the ISS, despite the war in Ukraine

Two of Putin's top Russian pilots were killed by US-supplied HIMARS, report says

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Anna Kikina © supplied by Numerama Anna Kikina

This is a first: SpaceX will transport a Russian cosmonaut to the international space station. All in a degraded geopolitical context between Americans and Russians.

This is a first: SpaceX will transport a Russian cosmonaut to the international space station. All in a degraded geopolitical context between Americans and Russians.

It will be a great first. And perhaps a somewhat strange moment, with regard to the geopolitical situation born from the War in Ukraine . On September 29, 2022, at the earliest, a Falcon 9 rocket operated by SpaceX will set off from the United States. So far nothing abnormal. On board, a crew. Again, the routine. But among astronauts, there will be a Russian.

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A Russian cosmonaut on a SpaceX

Anna Kikina flight is actually announced alongside two Americans, Nicole AUPA Mann and Josh A. Cassada, and Japanese Koichi Wakata. Only the latter is a veteran, already with four space missions on the clock. The other three will open theirs on the occasion of the SpaceX Crew-5 mission, which will take them to the International Space Station (ISS).

The presence of a Russian in this flight seems incongruous with regard to tensions which now strongly tend relations between Moscow and Washington, since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. However, the presence of the Cosmonaut Anna Kikina was already envisaged aboard the American flight, months before the military assault.

L’équipage de SpaceX Crew 5. Anna Kikina est à gauche. // Source : Nasa © supplied by Numerama The crew of SpaceX Crew 5. Anna Kikina is on the left. // Source: NASA

This participation is part of an exchange of good procedures between the two parts . The Americans offer a seat in the Falcon 9 rocket to a Roscosmos member, the Russian space agency. In return, the Russians reserve a seat for a NASA astronaut aboard a Soyuz rocket. In both cases, it is a question of having a ticket for the ISS.

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Historically, the United States and Russia have intensified their space cooperation in recent decades-the international space station is partly the fruit of this rapprochement. In the past, everyone has transported the other's staff on various occasions. The time of direct rivalry, during the Cold War, seemed to be over.

Today, the time is rather for distance between the two parties. A sign among others: Russia wishes to disengage from 2024 of ISS , which will be translated sooner or later by a stop of these shared flights. Ultimately, Moscow would again like to have its own space station, as at the time of Mir, but for the moment, no module is built.

To go further SpaceX: The calendar of future inhabited missions

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CIA Director William Burns dispels rumors that Putin is unwell saying 'as far as we can tell, he's entirely too healthy' .
"He believes it's his entitlement, it's Russia's entitlement, to dominate Ukraine," CIA Director William Burns said in Aspen.From the introduction of Russian currency to the complete shuttering of Ukrainian broadcasting, the Kremlin is taking extreme measures to make Ukrainian towns look, feel, and operate like Russia.

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