Roskosmos refused to return the Soyuz crew on a US ship due to risks

The option proposed by the United States to accommodate the Russian crew members of the malfunctioning Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft on the American Crew Dragon would have additional risks, and therefore it had to be abandoned. This was announced on February 22 by Sergey Krikalev, executive director for manned programs of the Roscosmos state corporation.

“Theoretically it is possible. But we practically began to see what this would entail, and this is also actually a rather risky operation, ”said Krikalev in video Roskosmos.

He also noted that colleagues from the United States immediately joined in the search for solutions for the safe continuation of the mission after the depressurization on the Soyuz MS-22, and no political situations affected the mutual assistance that is always on the International Space Station (ISS). Krikalev added that the Americans began to think about options for changing the layout of the Crew Dragon ship in terms of the possibility of adding more seats there.

According to the USSR pilot-cosmonaut, astronauts on the ISS will have several attempts to dock the Soyuz MS-23 if it fails to do it the first time.

“Fuel reserves allow us to make several attempts … There really will not be a manual mode here, but we will have the possibility of re-docking, which minimizes risks in this direction,” the executive director noted.

Earlier, on February 21, it was reported that cosmonauts Sergei Prokopiev, Dmitry Petelin and astronaut Francisco Rubio will return to Earth in September 2023. They will fly on the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft. Its launch to the ISS is scheduled for February 24 from the Baikonur cosmodrome. Automatic docking is scheduled for February 26.

Prokopiev, Petelin and Rubio were supposed to be delivered to Earth by the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft. However, on December 15, 2022, it became known that his radiator of the cooling system was damaged. A leak has been reported from the cooling unit. Then the work of astronauts on spacewalks was suspended. As Yury Borisov, the head of Roskosmos, later clarified, the ship was depressurized due to a violation of the outer skin of the ship.

In the very unlikely event of another emergency situation that would require a quick evacuation of the entire ISS crew, Rubio’s seat was moved from the Russian Soyuz to the American Dragon.

On January 11, Roskosmos reported that the Soyuz MS-22 would undock and land one to two weeks after the Soyuz MS-23 arrived at the ISS. The landing of the ship is planned on the territory of Kazakhstan.

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