Russia to bring back crew from International Space Station after leak

Russia to bring back cosmonauts from International Space Station after leak. Photo by Dima Zel

Two cosmonauts along with one US astronaut will be brought back home after Russia plans to send another Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station (ISS) 

Russia has announced that it will be launching another Soyuz rocket to the ISS on February 20, to bring back two cosmonauts and an astronaut from the US.  

The decision to send another rocket comes after their original capsule was damaged, resulting in a coolant leak last month.

As per the official reports, the leak was a result of a small puncture in an external radiator of the Soyuz MS-22 capsule.  

The capsule which serves as a lifeboat for the crew is presently docked at the ISS.

It was scheduled to bring back the ISS crew to Earth in March. 

“The expedition of Sergey Prokopyev, Dmitry Petelin, and Francisco Rubio to the ISS is being extended. They will return to Earth on Soyuz MS-23”, said a statement by Roskosmos, the state corporation of the Russian Federation responsible for space flights, cosmonautics programs, and aerospace research. 

It added, “The launch of the Soyuz MS-23 will be on Feb. 20, 2023, in an unmanned mode”. 

“MS-23 launch had earlier been planned for mid-March. Soyuz MS-22 will descend to Earth without a crew”.  

Roskosmos also said that the damage to the radiator pipe happened due to a meteorite, resulting in a hole with a diameter of less than 1 millimetre.  

The leak has also reportedly created problems for NASA as well.  

The US space agency had earlier announced that they were looking for options to use SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft to bring the crew back home, in case Russia was unable to send another rocket.

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Written by

Imran Khan