26 Jan 2024 12:21

Launch of ISS-bound Crew Dragon with Russian cosmonaut aboard set for late Feb - NASA

WASHINGTON. Jan 26 (Interfax) - The launch of SpaceX's Crew Dragon reusable spacecraft with Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebyonkin on board to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the Crew-8 Mission is scheduled for the end of February, NASA commercial crew program manager Steve Stich said at a NASA press conference on Thursday.

"We would be more towards the very end of February [as far as the SpaceX Crew-8 launch date is concerned]," Stich said.

The crew also includes NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt and Jeanette Epps.

The spaceship is expected to blast off from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida via the Space X Falcon 9 rocket.

In July 2022, Roscosmos and NASA signed an agreement under the ISS program on cross-flights of three Russian cosmonauts on the U.S. Crew Dragon crewed spacecraft and three U.S. astronauts on Russia's Soyuz MS crewed spacecraft in 2022-2024.

Roscosmos said in December 2023 that the Russian-U.S. ISS cross-flights agreement had been extended until 2025. Krikalev told Interfax then that the additional agreement envisions two more joint flights to the ISS before 2025.