Russian Soyuz docks at ISS, cosmonauts and astronaut aboard

There has been a instance of cooperation between the US and Russia with the docking of the Soyuz spacecraft at the ISS, amid tensions between Washington and Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine

Russian Soyuz docks at ISS, cosmonauts and astronaut aboard (photo: DW)
Russian Soyuz docks at ISS, cosmonauts and astronaut aboard (photo: DW)


A Russian spacecraft successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, 15 September after launching from Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome.

On board the Soyuz MS-24 were two Russian cosmonauts and a US astronaut who were undertaking the mission amid heightened tensions between Moscow and Washington.

Rare moment of cooperation

Russian space agency Roscosmos said earlier on Friday, 15 September that Oleg Kononenko, Nikolai Chub and Loral O'Hara docked at the ISS three hours after lift-off.

The trio are joining three other Russians, two Americans and a European Space Agency representative on the ISS.

Kononenko appeared to allude to tensions during a pre-launch press conference and said "unlike on earth" cosmonauts and astronauts took care of one another in space.

"We hear each other there, and we understand each other, and we are very sensitive to our relationships," he said. "We always take care of each other."

O'Hara was equally upbeat , pointing to the station's "legacy" and said it had been bringing the countries together.

"I'm excited to get on board and see the crewmates who are waiting for us," she added.

Kononenko and Chub are scheduled to spend a year on the ISS while O'Hara is expected to spend six months aboard.

Russia's space program

Last month Russia's space program suffered a significant setback when the Luna-25 space module crashed during an attempt to land on the moon.

It was Russia's first lunar mission in nearly 50 years.

US and Russian cooperation at the station doesn't have much time left. Last year July, the chief of Roscosmos Yury Borisov said that Russia would be leaving the ISS after 2024 with a view to putting together its own orbital station.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is looking bolster space cooperation with China as the West continues ramping up sanctions in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

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Published: 16 Sep 2023, 9:24 AM