U.S, Russia to resume joint space station flights in spite tensions

U.S, Russia to resume joint space station flights in spite tensions
The first cooperative mission between Space powers Russia and the United States since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine is scheduled to take place on a flight to the International Space Station (ISS).

The Soyuz spacecraft will include NASA astronaut Frank Rubio on board in addition to the cosmonauts Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin.

They will launch on Wednesday at 6:54 p.m. (1354 GMT) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, in the Central Asian steppes.

The three of them are scheduled to spend six months in the orbiting human outpost; the voyage will take three hours.

Rubio said in a recent interview that the trip was "very essential" and that he had made "excellent friends" with his Russian crew mates.

Rubio called the cooperation between NASA and Russian space agency Roscosmos “good and strong,’’ in spite of the heightened tensions between Moscow and Washington.

However, Russia complains that sanctions imposed by the U.S. and EU are hampering its space-related work, including the production of rockets, which also have military applications.

“I think its important when we are at moments of possible tension elsewhere that human space flight and exploration, something both agencies are passionate about that remains a form of diplomacy and partnership where we can find common ground and keep achieving great things together,’’ he said.

Russia recently said it would withdraw from the ageing space station after 2024 in light of its conflict with the West over Ukraine.

It said that no exact date was given and some analysts doubt Russia will follow through.
Chima Ugo is a patriotic Nigerian, a journalist, blogger and singer who is so much interested in the internet, journalism, and blogging and have been for half a decade.