Russia says that the astronauts who got stuck on the ISS will return in September

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russia says that the astronauts who got stuck on the iss will return in september

Russia announced on February 21 that three astronauts stuck on the International Space Station (ISS) due to a leak in their return capsule will return to Earth in September on a Soyuz MS-23 replacement spacecraft.

Two months ago, the cooling system of the Soyuz MS-22 capsule carrying Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin as well as American astronaut Francisco Rubio, whose mission had been scheduled to end in March, began leaking. As a result, the three men have been stranded in space since they are unable to return to Earth.

“(Their return journey) is now scheduled for September 2023 aboard Soyuz MS-23,” stated the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

The new Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft will launch on February 24 and dock with the ISS on February 26. In March, the damaged MS-22 spacecraft is scheduled to land without a crew.

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NASA and Roscosmos agree that the MS-22 spacecraft’s leak last year was caused by a micrometeoroid — a small piece of space rock striking the capsule at high velocity.

It is thought that a secondary leak in the cooling system of the Progress MS-21 cargo spacecraft, which was deorbited last Friday, was triggered by an external force earlier this month.

Roscosmos and NASA have had to reschedule their timetables and postpone spacewalks as a result of both breaches.

“Astronauts are constantly exposed to a high danger of life-threatening situations during space missions,” Roscosmos stated. Micrometeoroid collisions on a spacecraft or orbital station have occurred previously, but they have never had as severe repercussions as the Soyuz MS-22 incident.

No nation has a surveillance system capable of detecting micrometeoroids of this size — around 1 millimeter in diameter.

It stated that replacing the Soyuz cooling system would be expensive and add weight to the capsule, but it would consider prior problems when designing new spacecraft.

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