Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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The International Space Station (ISS) is facing an emergency evacuation plan as a damaged Soyuz MS-22 capsule, which serves as a lifeboat for the crew, sprang a coolant leak last month. The Russian space agency Roscosmos has announced new contingency plans for the three crew members, stating that the U.S. member would return to Earth in a separate SpaceX vessel if they needed to evacuate in the next few weeks.

The Soyuz MS-22 capsule was struck by a micrometeoroid, causing a small puncture and resulting in the temperature inside to rise. Roscosmos and NASA announced that a new spacecraft, Soyuz MS-23, would be launched next month to bring back the three crew members, but it will not dock with the ISS until February 22nd. Given the potential emergency, the U.S. crew member’s seat was moved from the MS-22 to a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, also docked to the ISS.

The three men were originally due to return in March, but the plan has been extended by several months and they will now return on the MS-23. The latter was originally scheduled to take on three new crew members in March, but will now be launched empty next month to dock with the ISS. The ISS is currently occupied by four other crew members, two from NASA, one from Russia, and one from Japan.


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