Elon Musk’s SpaceX capsule has successfully dropped four astronauts off at the International Space Station – including a Russian scientist who hitched a ride despite tensions over bonkers Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Anna Kikina arrived alongside two astronauts from NASA and one from Japan as the space explorers looked past the nuclear tensions back home to greet each other with hugs and handshakes.
It was the first time in two decades that a Russian was fired to space from NASA's Kennedy Space Center with exploration of the galaxy remaining one of the last areas of America’s cooperation with Putin.
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The Crew Dragon spaceship known as Endurance reached the ISS yesterday (Thursday, October 6) after it was fired from Florida the day before.
Kikina, who works alongside Russian space agency Roscosmos, joined the SpaceX Crew-5 flight after a rare moment of collaboration between Washington and Moscow.
The warring countries vowed to keep flying each other’s spacecraft to the ISS, which holds astronauts from eleven European countries alongside Canada and Japan.
After arriving at the impressive space station – which is as long as a full-length football field – the crew carried out tests and experienced the weightlessness of zero gravity.
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The new arrivals smiled as Kikina acknowledged it hadn’t been easy to continue the collaboration between Russia and America.
She spoke in Russian to a translator at mission control to say: “A lot of people are working hard to make sure our common manned space exploration will continue to exist, to develop further.
“We are living proof of this.”
NASA astronaut Nicole Aunapu Mann also made history as she travelled in the SpaceX capsule alongside her Russian partner, becoming the first Native American woman in space.
During their 150-day stay at the space station, the crew will probe into over 200 different experiments including the 3-D 'bio-printing' of human tissue.
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