“Nicole, Josh, Koichi and Anna, on behalf of the entire SpaceX team: Good luck; good luck; enjoy the trip”. This was the farewell to the team with which Anna Kikina travels, who today has made history by being the first Russian woman in 20 years to fly to the International Space Station taking off from the USA. Alongside her, and heading the crew, Nicole Mann will become the first Native American woman to fly into space.
Already in space, the Russian astronaut thanked everyone who made it possible: “Thank you to all the agencies, Roscosmos, NASA, JAXA and of course SpaceX for giving us this opportunity. Our entire crew is delighted to do what we are doing now. And a big thank you to everyone who is currently with us.”
They are scheduled to arrive at the space station on Thursday., 29 hours after a noon departure from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and won’t return to Earth until March. They replace an American-Italian crew that arrived in April.