A six-month ISS mission is underway for a US-Russian crew

In preparation for a scheduled six-month stay on the International Space Station, astronauts and cosmonauts from the United States and Russia took off on a rocket owned by Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Sunday night. Due to severe winds, the launch from the Kennedy Space Center in the US state of Florida was delayed. The original schedule for the launch was three days earlier. Just before takeoff, a tiny crack in the seal surrounding the capsule’s hatch was found, posing a new concern. Eventually, the crack was deemed safe, and the launch proceeded without incident.

 

Since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine crisis two years ago, relations between the US and Russia have been tense. However, the joint flight on the 25-story-tall Falcon 9 rocket was an unusual instance of cooperation. The space agencies of Canada, Europe, Japan, the US, and Russia are responsible for maintaining the International Space Station, or ISS, and their collaboration is required. When the three men and one woman crew of the International Space Station (ISS) arrives, they plan to conduct a variety of scientific experiments, one of which is an attempt to develop artificial human organ replicas so that degenerative diseases can be researched in the low-gravity environment.

 

The Dragon Endeavour capsule that the four departed in has already made four trips outside of Earth’s atmosphere on different missions. Nine minutes after launch, the reusable Falcon rocket carrying the capsule launched the crew—US astronauts Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt, and Jeanette Epps, along with Russian cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin—into orbit in advance of the capsule’s scheduled Tuesday docking with the International Space Station, which is located about 400 kilometers above Earth’s surface. The mission’s flight commander, Dominick, radioed ground control after reaching initial orbit, saying, “What an incredible ride to orbit, a big thank you to SpaceX.”

 

 

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