The only female Russian cosmonaut ready to fly to the space station

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Kikina will only be the 5th Russian female cosmonaut to fly in space.

Moscow:

Russia’s only active cosmonaut, Anna Kikina, said Friday she was ready for her next flight to the International Space Station aboard Space X’s Crew Dragon.

The flight, scheduled for October 3, is expected to take place despite rising tensions between Moscow and Washington over Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.

Kikina, a 37-year-old engineer, will be just the fifth professional female cosmonaut from Russia or the Soviet Union to fly in space.

She will also be the first Russian to travel aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft, as part of a cross-flight agreement between NASA and Russian space agency Roscosmos.

“Yes, of course, I am ready for the flight. I will leave for America on September 8 for the last training session, activities and procedures before the flight,” Kikina told a press conference. broadcast by Roscosmos.

Speaking about her role as the first Russian to fly with a Space X mission, she said “it’s a big responsibility.”

“But I can also say that any flight is a big responsibility for a cosmonaut. So personally, I don’t make any particular distinctions,” she added.

Asked about the attitude of her American colleagues towards her, Kikina said: “I feel loved… I am very happy to be part of this crew”.

Kikina will be part of Space X’s Crew-5 mission to the ISS on October 3, joined by Japan’s Koichi Wakata and NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada.

Kikina said she would take with her a symbol of her Siberian hometown Novosibirsk – a handmade toy of a young orange-haired boy called “Gorodovichok”.

“He’s already waiting for me on board,” she said.

The last Russian woman to fly into space was Elena Serova, who spent 167 days aboard the ISS from September 2014 to March 2015.

Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space when she flew into orbit on June 16, 1963.

Svetlana Savitskaya was the second woman in space and the first woman to perform a spacewalk in July 1984.

In October, Russia also sent an actress, Yulia Peresild, into space, who spent 12 days on the ISS shooting scenes for a movie.

By comparison, more than 50 American women have traveled to space.

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio is set to launch to the ISS aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft on September 21, joined by cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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