New Russian cosmonaut team arrives at International Space Station
STORY: The arrival of the latest cosmonaut team - warmly welcomed by four Americans, two Russians and a German crewmate already aboard - came a day after the European Space Agency (ESA) announced it had suspended a joint robotic rover mission to Mars with Russia due to the Ukraine conflict.
The rendezvous with the space station capped a flight of three hours and 10 minutes following liftoff of the Soyuz spacecraft from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The durability of U.S.-Russian collaboration in space is being tested by heightened antagonism between the two former Cold War adversaries over Russia's three-week-old invasion of Ukraine.
As part of U.S. economic sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin's government last month, U.S. President Joe Biden ordered high-tech export restrictions against Moscow that he said were designed to "degrade" Russia's aerospace industry, including its space program.
Dmitry Rogozin, director-general of Russian space agency Roscosmos, then lashed out in a series of Twitter posts suggesting the U.S. sanctions could "destroy" ISS teamwork and lead to the space station falling out of orbit.
The space station was born in part from a foreign policy initiative to improve American-Russian relations following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Cold War hostility that spurred the original U.S.-Soviet space race.
Rogozin's recent actions have prompted some in the U.S. space industry to rethink the NASA-Roscosmos partnership. NASA officials have said that U.S. and Russian ISS crew members, while aware of events on Earth, were still working together professionally and that geopolitical tensions had not affected the space station.