The tensions are already huge because of the Ukraine war, and then a hurricane comes along. Now two Americans, a Russian and a Japanese have started to the ISS – with Einstein on board.
Cape Canaveral – Postponed due to a hurricane and in times of severe international tension, Nasa astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut launched from American soil to the International Space Station (ISS) for the first time since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. In the “Crew Dragon” of Elon Musk’s private space company SpaceX, the so-called “Crew-5” flew on Wednesday from the Cape Canaveral cosmodrome in the US state of Florida. The launch was actually scheduled for October 3, but had to be postponed due to Hurricane Ian.
Crew-5 consists of NASA astronaut Nicole Aunapu Mann and her NASA colleague Josh Cassada, as well as Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata and Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina. They should arrive at the ISS on Thursday, spend around five months on board the ISS and take care of numerous scientific experiments.
Zero Gravity Mascot on board
The Falcon 9 rocket stage landed in the Atlantic after launch on a ship called Just Read the Instructions. The “Crew-5” took an Albert Einstein toy into space as a zero-gravity mascot. The so-called zero-g indicators begin to float when the state of weightlessness is reached.
Just about two weeks ago, the two Russian cosmonauts Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin flew to the ISS together with NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, they had started on board a Soyuz capsule from the Russian cosmodrome Baikonur in the steppes of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Central Asia. In addition, the Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and the NASA astronauts Bob Hines, Kjell Lindgren and Jessica Watkins are currently on board the ISS.
According to Russia, sanctions make work in space more difficult
The Russian invasion is putting additional strain on already difficult relations between Moscow and Washington. Russia complains that the sanctions imposed by the USA and the EU in the wake of the war are making space work more difficult, including the production of missiles that can also be used militarily. At times, the collaboration was on the brink. dpa