Russia sends Soyuz rescue ship to International Space Station

339W89V Highres

Soyuz MS-23 will transport Russian cosmonauts Dmitry Petelin, Sergei Prokopyev and NASA’s Frank Rubio again to Earth later this 12 months.

Russia has launched an uncrewed Soyuz spacecraft on a rescue mission to return two cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut whose journey again to Earth has been hampered after their authentic house automobile was broken by a mini meteorite whereas parked on the International Space Station (ISS).

The Soyuz MS-23 vessel blasted off efficiently from the Russian-operated Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday, stay video broadcast by ISS companion NASA confirmed.

Though the MS-23 is scheduled to dock with the ISS early on Sunday morning Moscow time, it isn’t anticipated to deliver home Russian cosmonauts Dmitry Petelin and Sergei Prokopyev, and US astronaut Frank Rubio till later this 12 months.

The three arrived on the ISS in September 2022 onboard the MS-22 spacecraft and have been initially to remain about six months till the top of March. But the MS-22 started to leak coolant in December after an obvious micro-meteorite punctured an exterior radiator.

The identical factor appeared to occur once more earlier this month, this time on a docked Russian cargo ship. Camera views confirmed a small gap in every spacecraft.

MS-23, which took off on Friday, was initially scheduled to launch in mid-March with two cosmonauts and an astronaut on board who would take over from Rubio, Petelin and Prokopyev on the house station. But with out the alternative crew on board MS-23, the 2 Russians and the US crew member will now proceed working on the ISS till September.

Officials had decided that it was too dangerous to deliver the three again of their broken Soyuz MS-22 subsequent month as initially deliberate. With no coolant, the cabin temperature would spike throughout the journey again to Earth, doubtlessly damaging computer systems and different gear, and exposing the suited-up crew to extreme warmth.

NASA stated in a press release that the broken Soyuz MS-22 is scheduled to undock from the ISS in late March and return to Earth “for an uncrewed parachute-assisted landing in Kazakhstan, and post-flight analysis by Roscosmos” – Russia’s house company.

After delivering individuals to the house station, capsules keep hooked up to the orbiting analysis lab all through the period of missions, in case of any emergencies and to ultimately ferry their crews home to Earth.

In addition to the three crew awaiting the arrival of MS-23, there are additionally 4 others presently on the ISS after arriving on a SpaceX Dragon capsule final October as a part of the Crew-5 mission.

They are scheduled to be joined subsequent week by members of the Crew-6 mission – two US nationals, an Emirati and a Russian – who may also arrive on board a SpaceX capsule anticipated to launch on Monday from Florida. After just a few days of overlap, Crew-5 will then return to Earth.

Space has remained a uncommon venue of cooperation between Moscow and Washington for the reason that begin of the Russian conflict in Ukraine and ensuing Western sanctions on Russia.