NASA, Roscosmos Hatch New Plan to Deliver Stranded ISS Crew Again to Earth

There have been tense moments since Russia’s Soyuz MS-22, which is docked to the Worldwide House Station, sprung a coolant leak in December. NASA and Roscosmos have declared the Soyuz unfit to hold crew again to Earth. 

This is what’s going to occur as a substitute.

NASA and Roscosmos hosted a joint media briefing on Wednesday to element their plans for getting NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin again dwelling. Roscosmos will launch its subsequent deliberate Soyuz MS-23 mission empty so the trio can get a secure experience again in a totally intact spacecraft. 

Soyuz MS-22 will then go away the ISS with no crew as a result of Roscosmos is worried that its crew compartment might get too scorching and humid with the cooling system compromised.  

There are at the moment seven folks on the ISS. The three who rode up on Soyuz MS-22 will work on the area station a number of months longer than deliberate. They have been initially alleged to return in March. 

NASA floated the concept of utilizing a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule as a backup, however that will not be crucial if the present plan works out. Will probably be a Soyuz-for-Soyuz swap.

“We’re not calling it a rescue Soyuz,” Joel Montalbano, NASA’s area station program supervisor, mentioned in the course of the briefing. It is a “alternative Soyuz.”

Roscosmos and NASA agree that Soyuz MS-22 was seemingly broken by a tiny area rock referred to as a micrometeoroid.  Sergei Krikalev, the Roscosmos human area flight program’s govt director, mentioned the particle was most likely about 1 millimeter in diameter.

The spacecrafts which might be used to achieve the ISS additionally act as life rafts in case of an emergency on the station. Krikalev mentioned MS-22 might nonetheless act as a last-resort security system if completely crucial.

NASA and Roscosmos are nonetheless figuring out a schedule, however Soyuz MS-23 is predicted to launch Feb. 20. Montalbano joked that he might need to fly extra ice cream to the station to reward Rubio, Prokopyev and Petelin for his or her prolonged keep. 

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