1 Feb 2024 12:54

U.S. Crew Dragon spaceship with Roscosmos cosmonaut onboard to head to ISS on Feb 22 - NASA

WASHINGTON. Feb 1 (Interfax) - The U.S. SpaceX Crew Dragon reentry spaceship will head to the International Space Station (ISS) on February 22 with Russian cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin onboard, NASA said.

"NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than Thursday, February 22, for the launch of the agency's Crew-8 mission to the International Space Station," the NASA website said.

Crew 8 mission includes NASA astronauts Michael Barratt, Matthew Dominick, and Jeanette Epps and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will propel the Crew Dragon into space from Area 39A of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission will last for about six months.

In July 2022, Roscosmos and NASA signed an agreement on cross-flights of three Russian cosmonauts by U.S. Crew Dragon spaceships and three U.S. astronauts by Russian Soyuz MS spaceships in 2022-2024.

In December 2023, Roscosmos said the agreement with NASA was extended until 2025. Roscosmos Executive Director for Manned Space Programs Sergei Krikalev told Interfax that the additional agreement envisaged two more cross-flights to the ISS before 2025.