Soyuz MS-23 will return to Earth the Russian-American crew of the damaged Soyuz MS-22, consisting of Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergei Prokopiev, Dmitry Petelin and NASA astronaut Francisco Rubio on September 27, according to data from the Mission Control Center (MCC) on February 24 .
“But this time the ship will reach the ISS in an unmanned mode, without astronauts on board. It will replace the Soyuz MS-22 manned spacecraft at the station, on which, for technical reasons, its crew cannot return to Earth. post Telegram channel “Roskosmos”.
The launch of the spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome with the Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle is scheduled for 03:24 Moscow time on February 24. The flight of the ship will take place according to a two-day scheme, automatic docking to the Russian small research module “Poisk” of the International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled for 4:01 on Sunday, February 26.
The day before, on February 23, the state commission approved the launch of the Soyuz-2.1a rocket with the Soyuz MS-23 unmanned spacecraft, on which the Russian-American crew of the damaged Soyuz MS-22 will return to Earth. Before that, the ship will spend 215 days in space.
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 February 22, Sergey Krikalev, Executive Director for Manned Programs at Roscosmos State Corporation, said that the US-proposed option of placing Russian crew members of the faulty Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft on the American Crew Dragon would have additional risks. Because of this, he had to give up.
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