The space station gets 3 new residents after the Russian launch

A Soyuz-2.1a rocket boosted by the Soyuz MS-22 spaceship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station (ISS), lifts off at Russia’s leased Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. The Russian rocket carries NASA cosmonaut Frank Rubio, Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopiev and Dmitriy Petlin. Credit: AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky

The International Space Station on Wednesday welcomed three new citizens after a smooth Russian launch.

The Soyuz rocket capsule was launched into orbit from Kazakhstan, and after only three hours, it stopped in orbit space station. American Frank Rubio checked in for six months with Russians Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitry Petlin.

Rubio, a doctor and former Army paratrooper from Miami, boarded the Soyuz under a new crew exchange agreement between the two countries. The agreement was completed in July Despite tensions over Moscow’s war in Ukraine, a sign of continued Russian-American cooperation in space.

Under this cash-free swap, Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina will fly SpaceX to the space station from Florida in less than two weeks. NASA and the Russian Space Agency want to continue swapping seats like this to ensure a consistent American and Russian presence on the space station.

NASA astronauts routinely launched Russian Soyuz rockets — for tens of millions of dollars apiece — until SpaceX began flying station crews from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in 2020. The last time a Russian launched from Florida was 20 years ago.

SpaceX aims to launch Kikina with one Japanese and two Americans as early as October 3.

  • The space station gets 3 new residents after the Russian launch

    A Soyuz-2.1a rocket boosted by the Soyuz MS-22 spaceship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station (ISS), lifts off at Russia’s leased Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. The Russian rocket carries NASA cosmonaut Frank Rubio, Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopiev and Dmitriy Petlin. Credit: AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky

  • The space station gets 3 new residents after the Russian launch

    A Soyuz-2.1a rocket boosted by the Soyuz MS-22 spaceship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station (ISS), lifts off at Russia’s leased Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. The Russian rocket carries NASA cosmonaut Frank Rubio, Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopiev and Dmitriy Petlin. Credit: AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky

  • The space station gets 3 new residents after the Russian launch

    The Soyuz-2.1a booster rocket with the Soyuz MS-22 spaceship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station (ISS), lifts off at Russia’s leased Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. The Russian rocket carries NASA astronaut Frank Rubio , cosmonauts of the Russian Space Agency Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitry Petlin. Credit: AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky

  • The space station gets 3 new residents after the Russian launch

    In this long exposure image, a Soyuz-2.1a booster rocket lifts off with the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft carrying a new crew to the International Space Station (ISS), at Russia’s leased Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Sept. 9 . 21, 2022. The Russian rocket carries NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petlin. Credit: AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky

  • The space station gets 3 new residents after the Russian launch

    NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, crew member of the mission to the International Space Station (ISS), waves as he climbs aboard the spaceship before launch at Russia’s chartered Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. Credit: AP Photo/Dmitriy Lovitsky, pond

  • The space station gets 3 new residents after the Russian launch

    From left: NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitriy Petlin, members of the mission crew to the International Space Station (ISS), walk to the rocket before a Soyuz 2.1 launch, at Russia’s leased Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022 .Credit: AP Photo / Dmitri Lovetsky, Pool

  • The space station gets 3 new residents after the Russian launch

    NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, right, Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergei Prokopyev, center, and Dmitriy Petlin, principal crew members of the International Space Station (ISS), greet their relatives and friends in front of a bus before the launch of a Soyuz 2.1 rocket at Russia’s chartered Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, September 21, 2022. Credit: AP Photo / Dmitri Lovetsky

  • The space station gets 3 new residents after the Russian launch

    NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, center, Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergei Prokopyev, bottom, and Dmitriy Petlin, mission crew members to the International Space Station (ISS) as they board the pre-launch spacecraft at Russia’s chartered Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022 .Credit: AP Photo / Dmitri Lovetsky, Pool

  • The space station gets 3 new residents after the Russian launch

    A Soyuz-2.1a rocket boosted by the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft carrying a new crew to the ISS, lifts off at Russia’s leased Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. The Russian rocket carries NASA cosmonaut Frank Rubio, Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopiev and Dmitriy Petlin. Credit: AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky

The new arrivals will replace the astronauts who have been living there ever since the beginning of spring; Crew size will eventually stabilize to seven.

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti said the view of the launch from the space station was “amazing”. She tweeted amazing photos The glowing tip of the earth and the jagged white bloat of the rocket.


American and Russian astronauts will swap seats on rockets again


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