Despite the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, a Russian cosmonaut joined a Japanese and two American astronauts on a flight to the International Space Station.
Anna Kikina is part of NASA’s SpaceX Crew 5 launch on Wednesday. She is joined by Americans Nicole Aunapu Mann and Josh Cassada and Japan’s Koichi Wakata. The quartet took off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center Wednesday.
After a day in transit, the foursome will dock with the International Space Station on Thursday.
Despite long-standing political tensions, the US and Russia have continued cooperating in space. After retiring the space shuttles, NASA had relied on Russian spacecraft to reach the International Space Station.
NASA restarted launching astronauts into space in 2020 after partnering with SpaceX.
Kikina was the first Russian to fly on a U.S. spacecraft in 20 years.
Part of the recent agreement between the U.S. and Russian space agencies also calls for American Loral O’Hara to take a seat on the Roscosmos spacecraft, which will launch in 2023.