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US astronauts, cosmonaut rocket to ISS

A four-seat SpaceX flight to the International Space Station took off from the Cape Canaveral launch site in Florida after being delayed by Hurricane Ian.

The team includes NASA astronauts Nicole Aunapu Mann and Josh Cassada, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata and Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina.

Kikina was the first cosmonaut to travel to the ISS this year as part of the cruise program agreed between NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

The agreement, which has reached high tensions because of the war in Ukraine, allows joint US and Russian crews to travel to the space station aboard each other’s spacecraft.

This is the first time in 20 years that a Russian cosmonaut has flown out of the United States on a rocket.

Two weeks ago, two Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin flew to the ISS together with NASA astronaut Frank Rubio.

They were launched aboard a Soyuz capsule from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The mission aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule was originally scheduled for October 3, but had to be postponed due to Hurricane Ian.

SpaceX is a private spaceflight company founded by Elon Musk that contracts with NASA to deliver crew and cargo to the space station.