Russia completes a “rescue mission” to the International Space Station

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

Russia finalizes a "rescue mission" to the International Space Station

For several months now, on the International Space Stationthere is a certain tension. The great scientific platform led by the five great space agencies of the world is not there. in his best form. The last December, the impact of a small meteorite caused an explosion. structural damage to the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft (one of the vehicles used to transport astronauts), forced the to cancel his return and, thus, what he was doing, he left the job. 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 the American astronaut Frank Rubio who have had to “extend his 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 to 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 fissurein one of the Russian cargo ships (the one known as Progress MS-21) forced the This again postponed the takeoff of the rescue mission.

Following the detection of this latest fault, Russia announced that it had already been confirmed. He postponed the rescue mission until early March, or at least until he fully understood what was going on. he had caused this second incident on one of his ships. But this Saturday, against all odds, the top managers 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 restored. It will be undocked from space facilities and will fall to the ground. over the Pacific.

Schedule upset

The failure of the Russian spacecraft has not only “extended the stay” of the three astronauts not currently in orbit but, collaterally, it has also disrupted the schedule 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 Nikolái Chub were expected to arrive at the International Space Station but, due to the incidents of the ú In recent months, its mission has been postponed until at least next fall.

The US agency NASA, for its part, also He states that he has had to readjust his mission schedule to deal with the latest incidents on the space platform (something that will probably force the delay of at least one of the missions planned for the next few months). Likewise, the Americans have offered the Russians the possibility of using their Crew-5 spacecraft, owned by the American private company SpaceX, to facilitate the return of the crew 'trapped' in orbit although, for the moment, it seems that the proposal has not been accepted. Russia is She is determined to achieve the rescue with her own means