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Amid War In Ukraine, U.S. Astronaut Joins Russian Cosmonauts In Launch To International Space Station

In a rare display of joint U.S.-Russian teamwork despite the war in Ukraine, flight crew members from both countries smiled and joined hands ahead of the Soyuz spacecraft's scheduled launch on September 21 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The three men -- U.S. astronaut Frank Rubio, along with Russian cosmonauts Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin -- were optimistic about their mission to dock with the International Space Station. Rubio, who flew U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters in Iraq and Afghanistan before becoming a doctor, will remain onboard for the next six months.

The space station is funded and run by the space agencies of Russia, the United States, Japan, Canada, and Europe.