Spaceflight rideshares with Russia continue as NASA astronaut heads to ISS (americanmilitarynews.com)

The first Russian cosmonaut to fly on a SpaceX Crew Dragon is set take off from Kennedy Space Center next month, but ahead of that flight a NASA astronaut hitched yet another ride Wednesday on a Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan.

NASA’s Frank Rubio, a member of the 2017 astronaut class that are known as the Turtles, is making his first trip into space along with Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin as part of Expedition 68 on board the International Space Station.

The trio launched aboard a Soyuz MS-22 rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome docking three hours later with the orbiting station. They will spend about six months on board the ISS before returning in March 2023.

Rubio joins Turtles classmates Jessica Watkins and Bob Hines already on board. They flew up along with NASA’s Kjell Lindgren and European Space Agency mission specialist Samantha Cristoforetti of Italy, as part of the Crew-4 mission that launched from KSC atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 in the Crew Dragon Freedom on April 27.

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