Russian-US crew welcomed aboard the space station

Russian-US crew welcomed aboard the space station

Russian-US crew welcomed aboard the space station

Vagner added that they were preparing to welcome the Soyuz MS-17 "in just 2.5 hours".

A Soyuz spacecraft launched to the International Space Station Oct. 14 on what will likely be the last mission where NASA pays Russian Federation for a seat, but not necessarily the last time NASA astronauts fly on the spacecraft.

Wednesday's mission is the last scheduled Russian flight carrying a USA crew member.

The three newly-arrived astronauts will spend 177 days in space, during which they will perform about 55 scientific experiments, continue to trace the reported air leak in the Zvezda module and even perform two spacewalks, one in November and the other in February next year, Russian news agency TASS reported.

Kate Rubins of NASA, together with Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos, lifted off on Russia's Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday (Oct. 14).

According to Roscosmos, the fastest a spacecraft has ever reached the ISS is 3 hours 19 minutes. The agency hopes to eventually allow Russian cosmonauts aboard the Dragon, but it is unclear when that will happen.

A Roscosmos spokesperson told NBC News there were no definite plans for any Russian to join the USA venture, adding that this question was inexorably linked to future US rides on Soyuz.

"The 20th anniversary of the continued human presence in space is going to be an awesome event and I think we all look forward to being there during that time", Robbins said.

"It really will depend on having the USA crew vehicles launching at some cadance", he said.

An American astronaut and two Russian astronauts set off to the International Space Station shortly before extending 20 years of continuous human presence in Earth's orbit.

"We don't get to choose our launch date or what occurs on station but certainly I feel incredibly lucky to be on station when. these events are happening", said the American astronaut, who was celebrating her 42nd birthday on Wednesday. It is the first such launch since SpaceX's game-changing debut manned flight from U.S. soil. This dependence became a hot-button political issue for NASA domestically after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Attempts were made by government officials on both sides to politicize the relationship and use it to somehow punish the other.

These comments prompted a greater sense of urgency in US efforts to field new spacecraft capable of delivering USA astronauts to ISS. The result is SpaceX's Crew Dragon and another vehicle designed by Boeing that will fly later next year. The proposed new station "is too US-driven" Rogozin said. "It would be a shame if this, our last area of productive cooperation, was effectively abandoned".

The remarks encouraged a sense of urgency in United States efforts to launch new spacecraft capable of delivering United States astronauts to the ISS.

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