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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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Russia is sending an empty capsule to International Space Station

Jan 12, 2023

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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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Russia is sending an empty rocket to the International Space Station (ISS) next month. The rocket is being sent to bring home two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut who are essentially stuck on the ISS.

The three space walkers need a new ride home, because a micrometeoroid damaged their old one. Video released in December shows coolant spewing out of the Soyuz MS-22 capsule into the vacuum of space.

NASA said a tiny piece of space rock flying at an extremely high rate of speed collided with the capsule’s outer layer, creating a hole less than one millimeter wide.

Yuri Borisov is the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. On Wednesday, Borislov said, “Having analyzed the condition of the spacecraft, thermal calculations and technical documentation, it has been concluded that the MS-22 must be landed without a crew on board.”

On Feb. 20, Roscosmos will launch the Soyuz MS-23 capsule from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It will be an unmanned flight, and the capsule will reach the ISS on autopilot.

Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin and U.S. astronaut Frank Rubio were supposed to return to earth in March, but their trip in space will now be extended a few more months.

The MS-23 capsule was originally slated for a March launch date. It was scheduled to carry two cosmonauts and one astronaut to replace the crew already on the ISS. The new crew will now have to wait until late summer or early fall before another capsule is ready for them.

There are seven people now living in the ISS. NASA and Roscosmos said they’re all doing fine and are safe.

“They are ready to go with whatever decision we give them,” Joel Montalbano, NASA’s ISS program manager, said at a news conference. “I may have to fly some more ice cream to reward them.”

The ISS is one of the few areas where the U.S. and Russia still cooperate, but that too is coming to an end. Russia said it would pull out of the ISS program in 2024 to build its own space station.

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TWO RUSSIAN COSMONAUTS AND AN AMERICAN ASTRONAUT ARE ESSENTIALLY STUCK ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION. TO GET THEM HOME, RUSSIA WILL BE SENDING AN EMPTY ROCKET TO THE ISS NEXT MONTH.

THE THREE SPACE WALKERS NEED A NEW RIDE HOME, BECAUSE A MICROMETEOROID DAMAGED THEIR OLD ONE. THIS IS VIDEO OF THE SOYUZ MS-22 CAPSULE SPEWING COOLANT INTO THE VACUUM OF SPACE.

NASA SAYS A TINY PIECE OF SPACE ROCK FLYING AT AN EXTREMELY HIGH-RATE OF SPEED PUNCTURED THE CAPSULE’S OUTER LAYER. THE HOLE FROM WHICH ALL THAT LIQUID IS LEAKING IS LESS THAN A MILLIMETER WIDE.

THE RUSSIAN SPACE AGENCY ROSCOSMOS SAID IT WOULD BE UNSAFE FOR HUMANS TO BE IN THE CAPSULE ON ITS RETURN TRIP HOME, SO IT WILL COME BACK EMPTY.

IN FEBRUARY, ROSCOSMOS WILL LAUNCH THE SOYUZ MS-23 CAPSULE TO THE ISS. IT WILL BE A CREWLESS FLIGHT, AND THE CAPSULE WILL REACH THE ISS ON AUTO-PILOT.

RUSSIAN COSMONAUTS SERGEY PROKOPYEV AND DMITRY PETELIN AND US ASTRONAUT FRANK RUBIO WERE SUPPOSED TO RETURN TO EARTH IN MARCH…BUT THEIR TRIP IN SPACE WILL NOW BE EXTENDED A FEW MORE MONTHS.

THERE ARE 7 PEOPLE NOW LIVING IN THE ISS. NASA AND ROSCOSMOS SAY THEY’RE ALL DOING FINE AND ARE SAFE.

THE ISS IS ONE OF THE FEW AREAS WHERE THE U.S AND RUSSIA STILL COOPERATE, BUT THAT TOO IS COMING TO AN END. RUSSIA SAID IT WOULD PULL OUT OF THE ISS PROGRAM IN 2024 TO BUILD ITS OWN SPACE STATION.

FOR MORE REPORTING ON THE ISS AND HUMANS IN SPACE, BE SURE TO CHECK OUT STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS DOT COM, WHERE WE DELIVER UNBIASED, STRAIGHT FACTS.