New Crew Of Astronauts Bound For International Space Station

A new crew of astronauts has left Earth, bound for the International Space Station (ISS).

The quartet – Nicole Mann, Josh Cassada, Koichi Wakata, and Anna Kikina – departed Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre at exactly midday, local time.

Their SpaceX Falcon rocket has put them on a path to catch the orbiting outpost in about 29 hours’ time.

Nicole Mann is making a piece of history by becoming the first Native American to go to space.

Cosmonaut Kikina’s participation continues the ride share agreement between Russia and the US.

The two countries have promised to keep carrying each other’s spacefarers to orbit even though they are at odds over matters in Ukraine.

“Crew 5”, as Wednesday’s launch quartet are known in Nasa/SpaceX nomenclature, will temporarily boost the number of people living above the planet to 14.

This total is made up of the 11 who will shortly be occupying the ISS (Crew 5 will join seven individuals already aboard) and the three Chinese “taikonauts” currently inhabiting the Asian nation’s Tiangong space station.

Crew 5 is a mixture of first-timers and one hugely experienced flier.

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