SpaceX and NASA have sent Crew-5 of the Dragon Crew (an amazing name, by the way) to the ISS. Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada are two members of NASA, while Koichi Wakata hails from Japan’s JAXA space program. Anna Kikina is the fourth member, the first Russian aboard a SpaceX flight. But another famous person tagged along: Albert Einstein. He discovered that in a freefall, a person can feel their weight. So a stuffed doll of Albert Einstein came along to mark when they entered zero gravity.
Many barriers were broken during this flight. For one, the aforementioned Anna Kikana is the first Russian aboard a SpaceX flight. And Nicole Mann is the first Native American woman in orbit. Additionally, she’s the first female commander of a SpaceX mission. They will perform over 200 science experiments and many spacewalks.
NASA has mentioned its plans to retire the ISS in 2031, so this will be one of the many missions that will conclude this chapter in space research. This will be an influential trip to space and foreign relations. Despite the war in Ukraine and shaky US-Russian relations, this flight will show how the United States of America and Russia still share their love of exploration. This is a unifying factor that can bring even opposing countries together for a common cause: exploring the final frontier.