MOSCOW, January 11. /TASS/. The Soyuz MS-22 space crew’s mission will be extended for several months, Roscosmos Executive Director for Human Spaceflights Sergey Krikalyov said on Wednesday.
"We will probably prolong this crew’s mission for several more months," the Roscosmos official said during a phone press conference on the incident with the damaged exterior of the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft’s instrument module.
The health of the crew of the Soyuz MS-22 manned spacecraft has been assessed as good, Krikalyov said.
On December 15, a drop in pressure in the docked Soyuz MS-22 manned spacecraft’s external cooling loop was recorded as Russian cosmonauts were preparing for their scheduled spacewalk. A visual inspection of the spacecraft from the orbital outpost confirmed the coolant leak, which cancelled the spacewalk.
As the Russian space agency reported, Roscosmos flight controllers conducted a series of tests of the Soyuz MS-22 spaceship’s systems, including a test of its propulsion control. The tests revealed no other damage to the spacecraft.
After its analysis of the situation, Russia’s state commission made a decision to bring the damaged Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft back to Earth in unpiloted mode and return Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio whose mission has been prolonged aboard the Soyuz MS-23 spaceship.
Before the emergency, the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft was expected to launch to the International Space Station on March 16. Now its launch has been scheduled for February 20.