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Finding Common Ground On ISS: A Place Where US And Russia Work Together

While the current state of relations between the United States and Russia may be somewhat strained, political disputes so far have not affected the space program. The International Space Station is — so to speak — above all that. Three more astronauts are getting ready to join the ISS crew in May.

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From left to right: Kimiya Yui, Oleg Kononenko and Kjell Lindgren.

 

The International Space Station might be an example of what Russia and the U.S. can accomplish by working together. Tensions over events in Ukraine have had no impact on relations between U.S. and Russian crew members. They all have jobs to do on missions that can last months.

In about two months, American astronaut Kjell Lindgren will be going into space for his first time. He spent months training in Star City, Russia, and talked at the Johnson Space Center about the mission.

“Well, I think that that is one of really the main benefits of this particular space program — that we have this international partnership with not just Russia, but with countries all over the world. It really provides a platform for us to work together to cooperate, to collaborate, to communicate something that just continues and really forces us to work together. And I think that has been one of the benefits in the past and really will continue to be a benefit in the future.”

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NASA poster. click image to enlarge

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko from Turkmenia says engineers, construction contractors, flight managers — are far from politics and work to achive common goals.

“Despite political differences or disagreements, there is nothing to mention like that in the environment of astronauts, cosmonauts, and instructors. Our relationship is very friendly, very working, and no matter what, always ready to come to rescue and to each other’s help.”

A third astronaut — Kimiya Yui of Japan — will be a co-pilot on the Soyuz vehicle that takes the three to the space station. He’ll be a maintenance specialist on one of the ISS modules. The trio will blast off from the Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on May 26th, and will return to Earth in November.

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