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NASA sets to launch Crew Dragon to ISS with Russia's Grebenkin onboard next month

 WASHINGON - The launch of a U.S. Crew Dragon manned reusable spacecraft produced by the company SpaceX to the International Space Station (ISS) on the Crew-8 mission, which will include Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, is scheduled for mid-February, NASA said in a statement released on Friday.

 Besides Grebenkin, the crew comprises NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt and Jeanette Epps.

 The spacecraft is expected to be launched from launch site 39A of Kennedy Space Center in Florida using a Falcon 9 launch vehicle made by SpaceX.

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



  In March 2023, Roscosmos said the Russian-U.S. cross-flights agreement had been expanded. Roscosmos and NASA agreed on the additional flight of a Russian cosmonaut to the ISS on a Crew Dragon spacecraft. It was reported that cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin will travel to the ISS as part of the Crew 8 mission in the first half of 2024.

 Currently, two ISS missions are underway under the Roscosmos-NASA agreement. In September 2023, the Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft carrying Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko, Nikolai Chub and NASA astronaut Loral O'Hara was launched to the ISS. In August 2023, the Crew Dragon 7 spacecraft took Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov to the ISS.

 Diplomacy Russian Space programmes Spacecraft U.S.

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