Russia will launch the unmanned Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft to bring home three astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS).
This is as the astronauts’ Soyuz MS-22 spaceship has an emergency situation, Russian space authorities said on Saturday.
Russian cosmonauts Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin together with NASA astronaut Francisco Rubio will return to Earth aboard the Soyuz MS-23 in the next weeks.
Soyuz MS-23 is supposed to dock to the ISS on Feb. 22, Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said in a statement.
Last month, astronauts found damage to the outer skin of the instrument-assembly compartment of the Soyuz MS-22 docked to the ISS.
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This caused a pressure drop in the cooling system.
The systems of the ISS and the Soyuz MS-22 are operating normally.
But Roscosmos and its partner space agencies have taken measures to ensure the safe return of the crew to Earth.
This is in the event of an accident before the arrival of Soyuz MS-23, the statement said.
The Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Sept. 21, 2022.
It took Prokopyev, Petelin and Rubio to the ISS for a six-month stay in orbit. (Xinhua)
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