Russian Soyuz spacecraft docks at ISS to bring back stranded crew
The Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft blasts off from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan February 24, 2023, in this still image taken from video. Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS
The International Space Station (ISS) has received a Russian spacecraft on a mission to return a crew trapped there to Earth, the Russian space agency Roscosmos announced early on Sunday.
Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin, as well as American astronaut Francisco Rubio, will return to Earth in September on the Soyuz MS-23, which launched on Friday from the Baikonour space center in Kazakhstan.
The three had been due to end their mission in March. They were left stuck in space after the cooling system of their Soyuz MS-22 capsule started leaking two months ago. The Soyuz MS-22 ship is now to be brought back unmanned next month.
“Today at 03:58 Moscow time (00:58 GMT), the Soyuz MS-23 unmanned spacecraft docked to the Poisk module of the International Space Station in automatic mode,” Roscosmos said on the Telegram messaging platform.
The Poisk module is a docking module at the ISS.
Yuri Borisov, chief executive of Roscosmos, said that the next space walk of the Russian cosmonauts at the station will take place in April or May.
The Soyuz MS-23 ship carried 429 kilograms (946 lb) of additional cargo to the station, needed to extend the astronauts’ mission, Russian agencies reported.