Russia Plans to Launch New Soyuz Spacecraft to Replace a Leaky One Docked at the ISS


A Russian Soyuz spacecraft docked to the International Space Station (ISS) began leaking coolant early last month, leading to concerns about whether the vehicle would be safe to transport ISS crew members back to Earth.

NASA and Russian space agency Roscosmos have now announced they will be sending a replacement spacecraft for NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin in which to travel home. A SpaceX Crew Dragon is also available as a contingency option should it be required.

Roscosmos will send a replacement Soyuz called MS-23 to the ISS, launching on February 20th so it can be used to return the astronauts to Earth. This soyuz had been scheduled to launch in March, carrying new crew members; but it will now launch earlier and with no crew.

NASA remains emphatic that the new Soyu is a replacement vehicle, not a rescue, and is emphasizing that the space station crew is safe. “We’re not calling it a rescue Soyuz. Right now, the crew is safe aboard the space station,” Joel Montalbano, International Space Station program manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said in a briefing. “There’s no immediate need for the crew to come home today. All the systems are operating.”

When the new Soyuz arrives at the space station, equipment will be moved from the old vehicle to the new one. Then the new Soyuz will be used to bring the crew back to Earth, and the old Soyuz will be landed as usual but without crew so it can be checked for damage and its effects on performance.

There is also a possibility of SpaceX using its currently docked Crew-5 Crew Dragon vehicle as a backup to return astronauts to Earth if necessary. NASA says it is in contact with SpaceX regarding the situation, but this is a contingency plan only and should not be necessary if the crew can travel on the new Soyuz.

Share post:




More like this

Table Tennis: Aruna Quadri Beats Japan’s Harimoto To Reach WTT Singapore Smash Quarter-Final

Aruna Quadri has qualified for the quarter-final of the...

OpenAI Announces GPT-4 The Next Generation Of Its AI Language Model

After months of rumors and speculation, OpenAI has announced...

U-20 World Cup: Nigeria’s Flying Eagles Placed In Pot 3

The Flying Eagles of Nigeria have been pitted in...


Concerns have been raised by the Federal Government regarding...