Source – Adda 247
A Russian Soyuz spacecraft launched on a mission to return to Earth a crew who were left stranded on the International Space Station (ISS) due to a cooling system leak in their previous return capsule.
According to the Tass news agency, the unmanned Soyuz MS-23 launched from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur space centre and was successfully sent into orbit. The ISS was to be docked with it.
The mission of US astronaut Francisco Rubio, Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin, and them were supposed to terminate in March.
Their Soyuz MS-22 capsule’s cooling system began to leak two months ago, leaving them stranded in orbit.
This Monday, the Russian space agency Roscosmos announced that the trio would now travel back to Earth in September on the Soyuz MS-23.
In March, the damaged MS-22 spacecraft is now slated to touch down without a crew
Leaks Observed by NASA and Roscosmos
Both NASA and Roscosmos concur that the leak on the MS-22 spacecraft last year was brought on by a micrometeoroid, a tiny piece of space rock, striking the spacecraft violently. A separate leak this month on the cooling system of the Progress MS-21 cargo ship, which was removed from orbit last week, is also thought to have been caused by a similar accident this month.
Tass reported that 430 kilograms (approximately 950 pounds) of cargo, including medical supplies, scientific equipment, water, food, and cleaning materials, were sent aboard the replacement vessel. According to a Russian space official quoted by Tass, the amount of food delivered was three times what is typically sent on such trips.
The revelations have forced NASA and Roscosmos to change their plans and cancel scheduled space walks.