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Russia-Ukraine War: 3 cosmonauts arrive at International Space Station in yellow and blue suits

Three Russian cosmonauts arrived on the International Space Station on Friday wearing yellow flight suits with blue accents, colors that appeared to match the Ukrainian flag. The men were the first newcomers to the space station since Russia’s war in Ukraine began last month.

Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov of the Russian space company Roscosmos successfully lifted off from the Russian-leased Baikonur launch vehicle in Kazakhstan in their Soyuz MS-21 spacecraft at 8:55 p.m. on Friday. A little over three hours later, they smoothly docked with the station and joined two Russians, four Americans and a German at the perimeter outpost.

Video of Artemyev, captured as the spacecraft prepared to dock with the space station, showed him in a blue flight suit. It was unclear what, if any, message the yellow uniforms they donned were intended to send.

When the cosmonauts were able to talk to the family on Earth, Artemyev was asked about the suits. He said that each crew chooses their own.

SEE RELATED STORY: How to Help Ukraine Amid Russian Attacks

“It was our turn to choose a color. But actually we had accumulated a lot of yellow material, so we had to use it. That’s why we had to wear yellow,” he said.

Since the beginning of the war, many people have used the Ukrainian flag and its colors to show their solidarity with the country.

The war has resulted in canceled spacecraft launches and broken contracts. Roscosmos boss Dmitry Rogozin has warned the US would have to use “broomsticks” to go into space after Russia announced it would stop supplying rocket engines to US companies. However, many fear Rogozin is jeopardizing a decades-long peaceful off-planet partnership, particularly on the space station.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson downplayed Rogozin’s comments, telling The Associated Press, “That’s just Dmitry Rogozin.

“The other people who work in Russia’s civilian space program are professionals,” Nelson told the AP on Friday. “With us, the American astronauts and American mission control, they don’t miss a beat. Despite all that, we can work together up in space with our Russian friends, our colleagues.”

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei – who broke the US single spaceflight record of 340 days on Tuesday – is scheduled to leave the space station with two Russians aboard a Soyuz capsule for a landing in Kazakhstan on March 30.

In April, three more NASA and one Italian astronaut are scheduled to leave for the space station.

SEE RELATED STORY: Russia continues attacks in Ukraine, a ‘nightmare’ for civilians; Conversations end with no breakthrough

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

https://abc13.com/russian-cosmonauts-international-space-station-ukrainian-colors-oleg-artemyev/11664813/ Russia-Ukraine War: 3 cosmonauts arrive at International Space Station in yellow and blue suits

Dais Johnston

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