Three Russian cosmonauts arrived at the International Space Station on Friday. They all wore yellow flight suits with blue accents. This colour appears to match the Ukrainian flag. The men were the first new arrivals on the space station since the start of the Russian war in Ukraine last month.
Russian space corporation Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov blasted off successfully from the Russia-leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan in their Soyuz MS-21 spacecraft at 8:55 p.m. Friday. They docked at the station just over three hours later. They joined with two Russians, four Americans and a German on the orbiting outpost.
Video of Artemyev taken as the spacecraft prepared to dock with the space station showed him wearing a blue flight suit. It was unclear what message the yellow uniforms were intended to send.
When the cosmonauts were able to talk to family back on Earth, Artemyev was asked about the suits. He said every crew chooses their own.
Many people have used the Ukrainian flag and its colours to show solidarity with the country, since the war started.
The war has resulted in canceled spacecraft launches and broken contracts. Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin has warned that the U.S. would have to use “broomsticks” to fly into space after Russia said it would stop supplying rocket engines to U.S. companies. NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei has broken the U.S. single spaceflight record of 340 days. It is due to leave the space station with two Russians aboard a Soyuz capsule for a touchdown in Kazakhstan on March 30.