The next mission to the International Space Station will see a Belarusian flight attendant pay a short visit.
Becoming the first woman from her country in space, Marina Vasilevskaya has been chosen as part of the three-person crew set to fly on a Russian Soyuz MS-25 spacecraft on March 21.
The 33-year-old, who works for the national airline Belavia, will join Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky and American astronaut Tracy C. Dyson, who is on her second long-duration mission to the ISS.
= Vasilevskaya is listed as a flight engineer and is expected to spend 12 days in orbit as part of a so-called “visiting expedition”.
She and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky, a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Russian Air Force, will then return to Earth aboard the Soyuz MS-24 with NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara.
It is unclear how much the cost of a Russian spaceflight for an ISS visitor is, but NASA ferried three space tourists to the station in 2022 for a reported $55 million (£41 million) each. They included Canadian investor and philanthropist Mark Pathy and US entrepreneur Larry Connor.
Vasilevskaya’s Wikipedia page says she practiced ballroom dancing professionally for 15 years before joining the airline. It also says she is passionate about interior design, enjoys going to the swimming pool, doing aerobics, playing badminton and tennis, as well as gardening.
Only three Belarusians have travelled to space, the male cosmonauts Pyotr Klimuk, Vladimir Kovalyonok, and Oleg Novitsky.
Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BELTA) showed Ms Vasilevskaya meeting President of Belarus Alexandr Lukashenko when he visited Moscow’s Yuri A. Gagarin Research and Test Cosmonaut Training Center in December 2022.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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