MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. The Russian space agency Roscosmos, along with the space agencies of its partner states on the ISS, has worked out a plan to bring cosmonauts and astronauts home if an accident occurs before the arrival of the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft, the Russian state space corporation told reporters on Saturday.
In particular, a seat for NASA astronaut Frank Rubio will be moved to the US spacecraft Crew Dragon that will take him back to the Earth if an emergency evacuation is needed, Roscosmos said.
"The State Space Corporation Roscosmos and the space agencies of its partner states on the ISS have taken measures to ensure a safe return of the ISS crew to the Earth if an accident happens before the arrival of the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft," Roscosmos said.
The Russian space agency pointed out that currently, the systems of both the ISS and Soyuz MS-22 are operating routinely. If there is an emergency and the crew will need emergency evacuation before the arrival of the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft, the damaged Soyuz MS-22 will bring two cosmonauts back to the Earth, while the remaining crewmembers will fly aboard the Crew Dragon. To that end, on January 17-18, work will be done to move NASA astronaut Rubio’s seat to the US spacecraft.
"The descent of two astronauts instead of three will be safer, as it will help lower the temperature and humidity inside Soyuz MS-22," the space agency added.
Roscosmos pointed out that after Soyuz MS-23 arrives at the ISS, as the spacecraft is scheduled to dock the space station on February 22, the seats of cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin as well as astronaut Rubio will be transferred to it.
The mission of Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev, Dmitry Petelin and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio has been extended after the external part of the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft’s thermal control radiator developed a leak on December 15, 2022. After analyzing the situation, the state commission opted for the damaged spacecraft’s crewless reentry, and said that the crew would travel to the Earth on the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft, which will be launched to the ISS on February 20.