KENNEDY SPACE CENTER /US/, October 5. /TASS/. The Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying an international crew of four, including Russia’s Anna Kikina, has been orbited from the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew Dragon’s flight to the International Space Station is being streamed on the NASA website.
The Falcon 9 launch vehicle orbited the Crew Dragon in 12 minutes. The docking with the ISS is expected the next day.
Kikina was the first Russian cosmonaut to travel to the ISS under the cross-flight program concluded between NASA and Roscosmos. Initially, the launch was scheduled for October 3, but NASA experts postponed it twice due to Hurricane Ian. The other members of the Crew-5 mission are NASA’s Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Koichi Wakata.
The automatic docking with the ISS is due at 16:57 on October 6, US East Coast time (23:57 Moscow time). The crew will stay on the ISS for 145 days.
On July 15, Roscosmos announced the signing of an agreement on joint cross-flights by Russian and US cosmonauts to the ISS. The commander of the Roscosmos cosmonaut team, Oleg Kononenko, said the agreement envisaged three flights by Russian cosmonauts on the US spacecraft Crew Dragon. Under the cross-flight program US astronaut Frank Rubio set off for the ISS aboard the Russian spacecraft K. E. Tsiolkovsky (Soyuz MS-22) from the Baikonur cosmodrome on September 21.