On Friday, a Russian spacecraft launched from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur cosmodrome, carrying two Russian cosmonauts and a US astronaut to join the crew of the International Space Station, according to live TV photos.
The Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft, which was carrying Americans Loral O’Hara and Russians Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub, was scheduled to dock with the ISS around 1856 GMT.
They will join NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Frank Rubio, Russian cosmonauts Dmitry Petelin, Konstantin Borisov, and Sergei Prokopyev, Denmark’s Andreas Mogensen, and Japan’s Satoshi Furukawa on the present crew.
O’Hara and Chub are on their first spaceflight, and Kononenko on his fifth.
Russia’s space programme suffered a major setback last month when its Luna-25 spacecraft crashed during an attempt to land near the south pole of the moon in the first Russian lunar mission for 47 years.
The ISS is one of the few international projects on which the United States and Russia still cooperate closely. Relations in other areas have virtually broken down since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, to which Washington responded by arming Kyiv and imposing successive rounds of sanctions on Moscow.