A three-man crew effectively arrived at the International Space Station on Wednesday on board a Russian rocket after the quickest actually venture from Earth of a little more than three hours.
The Soyuz spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov took off at just before 2 AM EDT, and docked with the ISS at 4:48 AM EDT - three hours and two minutes after liftoff.
This launch marked a milestone in terms of a crewed Soyuz mission, as it became the first to carry out an ultrafast, three-hour journey to the ISS.
"This two-orbit rendezvous has been modeled for quite awhile now".
In May, after five years of development, Elon Musk's aeronautics company, SpaceX, and NASA, launched the first manned flight from United States soil in almost a decade.
Before May 30, when USA astronauts Robert Behnken and Doug Hurley arrived at the ISS, Russia and Baikonur had enjoyed a lucrative monopoly on manned missions to the ISS.
Roscosmos confirmed the successful docking of the Soyuz spacecraft in a tweet.
The new crew will spend six months aboard the ISS.
But the men and women that fly to the space station have played down talk of competition and focused instead on space travel's ability to bring rival nations together for a common cause. "It has been tested with Progress [cargo] vehicles", Ryzhikov said in a pre-launch press conference on Tuesday. "We have an incredible partnership", Rubins said in an interview from Russia's Star City before her flight.
"We have a very strict quarantine, nearly from March by my perception", said Rubins, a microbiologist who researched the deadly Ebola virus before she began training as an astronaut. The Russian cosmonauts Serguei Rizhikov and Sergei Kud-Sdedchikov, as well as the NASA US astronaut Kathleen Rubins make up the first space crew after the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, for which hygiene measures were tightened.
The ISS, which has been for all time involved since 2000, has been an uncommon case of collaboration among Moscow and Washington. The proposed new station "is too US-driven" Rogozin said. The two astronauts on board were not do any harm.