Three Russian cosmonauts arrived at International Space Station He wears yellow flight suits with blue accents, colors matching the Ukrainian flag.
Men were the first newcomers to the space station since the beginning of the Russian war in Ukraine Last month.
Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov, of the Russian space company Roscosmos, successfully lifted off from Russia’s chartered Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan on their Soyuz MS-21 spacecraft Friday at 8.55 p.m. local time. They smoothly docked at the station a little three hours later, joining two Russians, four Americans, and a German at the outpost.
A video clip showed Artemyev as the spacecraft prepared to dock with the space station, wearing a blue flight suit. It was not clear what message, if any, the yellow uniform they wore was supposed to send.
When the cosmonauts managed to talk to the family on Earth, Artemyev was asked about the suits. He said that each crew chose their own.
“It was our turn to choose a color. But, in fact, we had accumulated a lot of yellow matter, so we needed to use it.” “That’s why we had to wear yellow.”
Since the outbreak of the war, many people have used the Ukrainian flag and its colors in solidarity with the state.
The war resulted in the cancellation of the launch of spacecraft and the termination of contracts. Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin has warned that the United States will have to use “broomsticks” to fly into space after Russia said it would stop supplying rocket engines to American companies. However, many worry that Rogozin is jeopardizing decades of peaceful partnership outside the planet, most notably on the space station.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson downplayed Rogozin’s comments, saying, “That’s just Dmitry Rogozin. He puffs every now and then. But in the end, he worked with us.”
“The other people who work in the Russian civilian space program, they are professionals. They don’t miss anything with us, with the American astronauts and the American mission watch. Despite all that, in space, we can cooperate with our Russian friends, our colleagues.”
NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hay, who on Tuesday broke the record for US spaceflights of 340 days, is scheduled to leave the space station with two Russians aboard a Soyuz capsule to land in Kazakhstan on March 30.
In April, three more from the US space agency and one Italian astronaut are scheduled to blast off to the space station.