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Russia's Only Female Cosmonaut Praises ISS Mission

Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina aboard the International Space Station. Roscosmos

Russia's only active female cosmonaut Anna Kikina on Thursday described a "wonderful" atmosphere during her mission to the International Space Station where she traveled aboard a SpaceX spaceship. 

The orbital station is one of the few remaining areas of cooperation between Moscow and Washington amid a breakdown of ties since Moscow sent troops to Ukraine.

Kikina is only the fifth professional woman cosmonaut from Russia or the Soviet Union to fly to space and the first Russian to fly with Elon Musk's SpaceX.

"I liked the flight very much... everything was comfortable," the 38-year-old engineer told an online news conference.

Kikina returned to Earth on March 12 after five months aboard the ISS with fellow crew members Japan's Koichi Wakata and NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada.

Speaking of her interaction with colleagues on the ISS, she said she "didn't experience any difficulties.

"Support for each other was felt all the time, there was a good sense of humor both aboard the station and on the spaceship," Kikina added.

"The atmosphere was wonderful."

After returning to Earth, Kikina spent the first stage of her rehabilitation at a NASA center in Houston and will continue her recovery in Star City outside Moscow. 

The last Russian woman to fly to space was Elena Serova, who spent 167 days aboard the ISS from September 2014 to March 2015. 

Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space when she traveled into orbit on June 16, 1963. 

In October 2021, Russia also sent to space an actress, Yulia Peresild, who spent 12 days on the ISS shooting scenes for a movie.

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