NASA Astronaut Arrives At ISS; Ends Reliance On Russian Spaceships

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NASA has just announced that astronauts Chris Cassidy and other crewmates have arrived safely at the International Space Station. This also means that NASA's reliance on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft anymore. If everything goes according to plan and schedule, the next trip to ISS would be aboard a SpaceX spaceship, built within the country.

NASA Astronaut Arrives At ISS; Ends Reliance On Russian Spaceships

 

NASA Astronaut Cassidy Arrive At ISS

According to the press report by NASA, the Russian Soyuz rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in the wee hours on April 8. The rocket carried NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy along with two Russian cosmonauts Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner on board. They have successfully reached the International Space Station.

"NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and two Russian cosmonauts arrived Thursday for their mission aboard the International Space Station, temporarily restoring the orbiting laboratory's population to six people," NASA said. The three astronauts who landed safely will remain there for six months before returning to Earth.

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and many countries are initiating lockdown, NASA has successfully lifted off the mission. "No virus is stronger than the human desire to explore," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. At the same time, the space agency noted that the crew members were already in quarantine to ensure that the virus isn't transported to ISS.

NASA Ends Reliance On Russian Soyuz

The successful docking of the Soyuz spaceship at ISS also means that this would be the last trip NASA relying on it. The premier space agency has scheduled the SpaceX Crew Dragon to liftoff to ISS next month. It will be carrying NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken, who will become the first humans to launch to orbit from U.S. soil since the crew of STS-135.

 

This brings to an end a decade-long reliance on Russia to reach the space station. Ever since the Space Shuttle was retired in July 2011, NASA has bought flight tickets for its astronauts at a cost of $86 million per seat, which has mostly been successful. Now, NASA has contracts with various private space agencies including SpaceX and Boeing, which have developed spacecraft as required by NASA.

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