Despite tensions over Russia’s anti-satellite missile test in orbit, SpaceX plans to launch a cosmonaut in 2022. Nasa and Russia’s space agency, Roscomos, are in talks to send the first Russian astronaut to the International Space Station on a SpaceX Dragon. A cosmonaut was supposed to be sent aboard SpaceX Crew-5, which is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2022. Just before the Dragon cargo resupply mission CRS-24 to the flying outpost, Montalbano spoke to reporters.
Dmitry Rogozin, President of Roscosmos, hinted at similar plans earlier this month when he stated that he and his US counterparts had discussed extending Russia’s participation in the space station’s upkeep beyond 2025.
“The Crew-5 mission will be followed by a Soyuz flight by a NASA astronaut next fall. These plans are currently being finalized by the agency through government agreements.” At a press conference, Montalbano stated.
Despite recent tensions between Washington and Moscow, Rogozin stated that the two agencies planned to complete the Crew Dragon agreement in early 2022, when NASA Administrator Bill Nelson visited Moscow.
Anna Kikina, a Russian cosmonaut, will fly with SpaceX.
According to Roscosmos’ leader, Anna Kikina, the agency’s only female cosmonaut, could be a candidate for such a mission. She’s already been training at SpaceX, according to officials. Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada will join her on Crew-5.
NASA astronaut Josh Cassada will join Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata on SpaceX’s first crewed flight, in addition to Nicole Mann. According to rumors, Roscosmos will swap Kikina’s seat on the Soyuz spacecraft for an American astronaut’s seat.
The United States relied on Russia to transport its astronauts to the International Space Station after the Space Shuttle was retired in the early 2000s.
While relations between the United States and Russia are tense on the ground, they were cooperative in space until November, when the United States accused Russia of putting the International Space Station in jeopardy. They believe the anti-satellite missile test created a debris field in low-Earth orbit, putting future space activities in jeopardy.