NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos have reached an agreement on space flights to the International Space Station. The deal will allow Russian and American astronauts to fly on the spacecraft of the respective organizations.
The cooperation between NASA and Roscosmos has been under a lot of pressure lately because of the war in Ukraine. Nevertheless, the two space agencies have come to an agreement. “The agreement benefits both Russia and the United States and underlines the development of a partnership within the context of the ISS,” Roscosmos said in a statement. statement to Reuters.
The first joint flight to the ISS should take place in September; the American Frank Rubio accompanies cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin in a spaceflight facilitated by the Roscosmos. Later, the Russian Anna Kikina flies with American and Japanese astronauts in a SpaceX Crew Dragon.
The timing of the deal’s breakthrough is striking, as Russian President Putin this week replaced controversial Roscosmos chief executive Dmitry Rogozin with a new boss for the space agency. Rogozin was known as an outspoken nationalist. He made some very aggressive statements in response to criticism of the invasion of Ukraine, including saying: threat to crash the ISS. His replacement is Yuri Borisov, one of Putin’s several deputy prime ministers.