SpaceX Rockets to Fly Russian Cosmonauts with New NASA Deal

American and Russian astronauts will fly spacecraft after NASA and its Russian counterparts, Roscosmos, signed a deal on Friday after months of discussions.

NASA astronauts will fly aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, while Russian cosmonauts will climb aboard private American vehicles such as SpaceX’s Dragon capsule.

Russian cosmonauts will join at least two future SpaceX missions to the International Space Station, marking the first time a Russian has boarded one of SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon spacecraft.

NASA assigned astronaut Frank Rubio to the Soyuz mission in September 21 with cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev Dmitry Petelin, and astronaut Loral O’Hara will join a Soyuz flight in spring 2023 with Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub.

Anna Kikina will be the pioneering cosmonaut who will fly on SpaceX’s Crew-5 in September, and Andrei Fedyaev will fly on SpaceX’s Crew-6 in the spring of 2023.

NASA and Roscosmos both confirmed the agreement on Friday.

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