• Roscosmos will launch a new Soyuz on February 24 to replace the damaged ship in December and bring back three astronauts

It has been several months since the International Space Station there is some tension. The great scientific platform led by the world’s five largest space agencies is not in its best shape. He last decemberthe impact of a small meteorite caused structural damage to the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft (one of the vehicles used to transport astronauts), forced the cancellation of its return and, in doing so, left three crew members ‘trapped’ in space facilities. Russia is now finalizing a rescue mission to bring back to Earth the two Russian cosmonauts Dmitri Petelin and Sergei Prokopiev and others american astronaut Frank Rubio who have had to «extend their stay» due to this incident.

The russian space agency, in collaboration with their US counterparts, has been planning the operation for weeks. The plan is to launch a new Soyuz spacecraft into space, send it to the International Space Station, have it replace the damaged capsule, and from there, use the operational aircraft to bring back the three ‘trapped’ astronauts. Originally, the rescue mission was to be launched on February 20 but, as announced by Roscosmos, the detection of a new crack in one of the Russian cargo ships (the one known as Progress MS-21) again forced to postpone the takeoff of the rescue mission.

After the detection of this latest fault, Russia announced that postponed the mission until the beginning of March, or at least until they fully understood what had caused this second incident on one of their ships. But this Saturday, against all odds, the heads of the Russian space agency have launched two surprise announcements. On the one hand, the takeoff of the Soyuz MS-23 is brought forward for next Friday, February 24 at three in the morning (Moscow time). On the other hand, it is announced that the recently damaged cargo ship will be undocked from space facilities and will fall on the Pacific.

upended calendar

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The failure of the Russian spacecraft has not only «extended the stay» of the three astronauts currently in orbit but, collaterally, has also upset the calendar of the following space missions. At the beginning of the year, in fact, the arrival of the American astronaut Laurel O’Hara and the Russians Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub were expected to arrive at the International Space Station but, due to the incidents in recent months, their mission has been postponed until at least next fall.

The US agency NASA, for its part, also states that it has had to readjust your mission schedules to deal with the latest incidents on the space platform (something that will probably force the delay of at least one of the missions scheduled for the coming months). Likewise, the Americans have offered the Russians the possibility of using their Crew-5 spacecraft, from the American private company SpaceX, to facilitate the return of the crew ‘trapped’ in orbit, although, for the moment, it seems that the proposal does not has been accepted. Russia is engaged in achieve the rescue with your own means.