"It's a big honor for me and a big responsibility to be in this unbelievable mission."

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Earlier this week, a Russian Soyuz rocket docked with the International Space Station, carrying NASA astronaut Tracy Dyson, cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy — and Belarusian flight attendant Marina Vasilevskaya, who won the trip as part of a national science contest.

The three crew members launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Saturday, arriving at the space station around 50 hours later. The first launch attempt, on Thursday, had to be aborted mere seconds before takeoff.

The trip has officially made Vasilevskaya, a flight attendant for Belavia Airlines, the first Belarusian woman to fly into space.

It's also a sign that cooperation in space between the US and Russia — including some of its closest allies like Belarus — is still ongoing, despite significant political tensions.

"It's a big honor for me and a big responsibility to be in this unbelievable mission," Vasilevskaya said in a statement before launching, as translated by Space.com. "This is our national project. It's such a big honor. I'm so proud to represent our republic."

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Vasilevskaya was one of six finalists of a nationwide contest organized by the Belarus Academy of Sciences and the Belarus Space Agency. More than 3,000 female candidates applied.

"She's a flight attendant," Dyson, the NASA astronaut on board the flight, told CollectSPACE. "That's her day job and, as you know, flight attendants don't just serve drinks. They're primarily responsible for our personal safety on board the aircraft and so she's no stranger to emergency situations and what to do and how to stay calm during them."

Vasilevskaya will spend around 12 days on board the space station and will make her return on board a Soyuz spacecraft alongside current ISS crew member and NASA astronaut Loral O'Hara for a landing on April 6.

Her arrival goes to show that even those who haven't spent many years training to become astronauts can make it to space — if they're incredibly lucky or rich, that is.

"She's really stepped up to whatever role she's been assigned and what she lacks in experience as a cosmonaut she makes up for with a great attitude," Dyson told CollectSPACE.

More on the ISS: Russia Confirms Small But Growing Leak in Space Station

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