Russia’s space agency announced its intention to send an actress to the space station soon after Mr. Cruise’s plans were revealed.
What problems have the Russians had with the space station recently?
Astronauts have lived on the space station, a science lab the size of a football field, for more than 20 years, and it’s starting to show signs of decay, especially on the Russian side.
Several air leaks have been detected on the Russian section of the outpost in recent years, although none posed an immediate threat to the station’s crew. Astronauts found a leak in Russia’s Zvezda Service Module last year using tea leaves, and fixed the leak with space-grade glue and tape. Another gradual air leak continues, and its source has been escaped by Russian space officials.
And in July, Russia’s new science module, the yacht, underwent a chaotic docking process: Shortly after locking onto the station, the module’s thrusters accidentally began firing, rotating the entire space station one and a half times. . None of the seven astronauts on board were harmed, but it was A rare “spacecraft emergency” that left NASA and Russian officials scrambling to return the station to its normal orientation.
Who else is going to the space station soon?
Traffic on the space station will be busy for the next few months.
30, NASA is scheduled to send a crew of three American astronauts and one European Space Agency astronaut to the space station for a stay of about six months. The mission, named Crew-3, will be NASA’s fourth trek to the station using SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, a spacecraft developed with a mix of NASA and private funds.
Then, more private missions. Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will launch into the orbital laboratory aboard a Soyuz rocket on December 8 for a 12-day stay. Maezawa, an art collector and tycoon of Japanese fashion retail site Zozotown, booked his first mission to space with SpaceX in 2018, aiming to one day propel the company’s Starship rocket around the Moon. It won’t arrive until 2023, and for Mr Maezawa’s early Soyuz flight, he will bring along a producer and a camera to document his journey.
Then on February 21, three private astronauts, paying $55 million, will fly to the space station in a Crew Dragon capsule booked by the company Axiom Space. They will be joined by a fourth crew member, a retired NASA astronaut who will essentially serve as their guide.
Valerie Hopkins and Oleg Matsnev contributed reporting from Moscow.