Russia’s Roscosmos to Rescue ISS Crew after Meteorite Damage

  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 01:00 PM, January 12, 2023
  • 725
Russia’s Roscosmos to Rescue ISS Crew after Meteorite Damage
Soyuz MS-22 crew: NASA astronaut Frank Rubio (left); and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev (center) and Dmitri Petelin (right)

Russia's state space agency Roscosmos is sending a backup Soyuz spacecraft to evacuate International Space Station (ISS) crew after their original capsule was damaged following meteorite hit last month.

The Soyuz MS-23 launch will take place on February 20, 2023 in an unmanned mode.

Cosmonauts Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin arrived at the ISS with NASA astronaut Frank Rubio on board the Soyuz MS-22 in September 2022. They were due to return to Earth on the MS-22 in March 2023.

A micrometeorite struck the MS-22, punching a hole with a diameter less than 1mm. The capsule experienced a leak and pressure drop in the cooling system, causing a rise in the capsule’s temperature and forcing the last-minute cancellation of Prokopyev and Petelin’s spacewalk.

Roscosmos chief Yury Borisov said in a video statement that the MS-22 would descend to Earth without crew, but did not indicate when that would happen.

Prokopyev, Petelin and Rubio’s expedition has been extended and they will return to Earth on the MS-23, Borisov added without specifying the date.

Russia and the U.S. have continued their rare cooperation in space even as tensions have flared over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

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