NASA and SpaceX release date of new manned mission to the International Space Station

Late last year, NASA announced an agreement with Russian space agency Roscosmos to launch the first cosmonaut on a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. By the way, first, no, first, because the name is already defined, and it will be a woman: Anna Kikina, the only active Russian female astronaut.

The only female cosmonaut in active service for Roscosmos, Anna Kikina will fly in September aboard an American spacecraft as part of SpaceX’s Crew-5 mission. Image: Roscosmos

She will fly with Americans Nicole Mann and John Cassada, as well as Japanese Koichi Wakata, aboard the Crew Dragon Endurance capsule, on the Crew-5 mission, to spend approximately 180 days on the International Space Station (ISS).

This will be the second mission of the Endurance capsule, which was first piloted last November by Crew-3. And the novelties of this upcoming flight are not limited to the presence of a Russian crew member: it will also be the first time that the four Draco forward bulkhead motors, which guide and control the altitude of spacecraft during flight, will be activated. on a NASA commercial mission.

According to a statement released by the agency, the launch, scheduled for September 29, is part of a commitment signed between the United States and Russia on the 15th, to allow for so-called “mixed crews”. “. embedded crews” in spacecraft.

Days before the Crew-5 mission liftoff, NASA astronaut Frank Rubio will be launched on a Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan by the MS-22 mission, alongside cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin .

The agreement also included the dismissal of Dmitry Rogozin as head of Roscosmos, taking Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov in his place.

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