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Friday, May 20, 2022

Russian cosmonauts arrived at the ISS

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Three Russian cosmonauts have arrived at the International Space Station. Images released by NASA on Friday night show Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov receiving a warm welcome from their Russian, German and American colleagues on the ISS. Their Soyuz capsule took off from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan in the afternoon.

Space is one of the last areas where Russia and the US continue to cooperate after the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. The United States and Russia depend on each other for the operation of the ISS. While the US modules are responsible for onboard power supply and life support, the Russian parts take care of propulsion.

There were recent fears that Moscow might not allow US astronaut Mark Vande Hei to board the Soyuz capsule for the return flight at the end of his mission on March 30. Russia’s Tass news agency reported Monday that the Roscosmos space agency “never gave its partners the slightest chance to doubt its reliability.” Vande Hei will fly home as planned.

In any case, when the Russian colleagues were welcomed, there was no sign of political tensions on Earth. The former ISS crew, consisting of two Russians, four American astronauts and German Matthias Maurer, greeted Russian colleagues with friendly hugs.

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