Updated 6:40 PM EDT, Thu October 6, 2022
SpaceX and NASA launched a crew of astronauts on a trip to the International Space Station on Wednesday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Dubbed Crew-5, the mission is the sixth astronaut flight launched as a joint endeavor between NASA and SpaceX, a privately held aerospace company, to the space station. The four crew members are astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada of NASA, astronaut Koichi Wakata of JAXA, or the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and cosmonaut Anna Kikina of Roscosmos
It marks a historic moment, as Mann became the first Native American woman ever to travel to space. She's also serving as mission commander, making her the first woman ever to take on such a role for a SpaceX mission.
What's more, Kikina is the first Russian to join a SpaceX mission as part of a ride-sharing deal between NASA and Russia's space agency, Roscosmos. Her participation in the flight is the latest clear signal that, despite mounting tensions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the decades-long US-Russia partnership in space will persist — at least for now.