Madrid, 5 (European press)
The Crew 5 mission, carried out with Dragon Endurance, features two NASA astronauts: Josh Cassada and Nicole Mann, the first Native American in space: a member of one of the Round Valley Indian tribes in California. The Americans were joined by Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata and Russian Anna Kikina.
Liftoff was performed at 16:00 UTC on October 5 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, after a series of delays that delayed the launch by several weeks. After a 22-hour flight, the new crew of the orbital complex will spend six months in orbit, NASA reports.
Kekina’s presence marks the first time a Russian cosmonaut has traveled aboard the Dragon spacecraft. Since SpaceX began sending crews to the International Space Station, NASA and the Russian space company Roscosmos have been working together on a crew exchange deal. This continued despite the deterioration of relations following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Crew 4 mission astronauts are due to return to Earth later this month in their Dragon capsule, which has been attached to the space station since their arrival.
Since 2020, Space X has contracted astronauts for NASA to work on the International Space Station.
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