Russia’s role in international space exploration cooperation has been particularly tense since the country invaded Ukraine, even announcing its withdrawal from the International Space Station. Tensions continue to rise between the country and the rest of the world, but there appears to be a truce in space. Russia has already sent a spacecraft to rescue 3 astronauts from the International Space Station (including one from NASA).
NASA announced the dispatch of the unmanned Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station by the Russian company Roscosmos. The launch took place from Kazakhstan, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and took place yesterday at 7:24 PM EST (that is 00:24 AM today, Lisbon time). Watch the launch here.
After a two-day flight, the spacecraft will automatically dock into the space-facing port of the Poisk module at 8:01 p.m. EDT on Saturday, Feb. 25 (1:01 a.m. Feb. 26, Lisbon). a NASA will cover Meeting and docking from 19:15.
The new Soyuz will replace the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft after a radiator coolant leak on December 14, 2022. Soyuz MS22 carried NASA astronauts Frank Rubio and Roscosmos Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petlin to the space station last September. The three crew members will return to Earth aboard the new Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft later this year.
The damaged Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft is scheduled to descend from the station in late March and return to Earth for a parachute-assisted unmanned landing in Kazakhstan and post-flight analysis by Roscosmos.
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