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Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft to spend 215 days in space before returning with cosmonauts

Roskosmos reported that cosmonauts would then return on it

MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. Russia’s Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft, which will be launched later on Friday, will spend 215 days in space before returning to the earth with Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin, as well as NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, on board.

"The duration of flight [will be] 215 days," Russian state-run space corporation Roscosmos said in its fact sheet about the mission.

Approximately nine minutes after the launch, scheduled for 03:24 Moscow time, the spacecraft will separate from the third stage of the rocket. Its docking with the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS) is expected at 04:01 Moscow time on February 26. It will be an uncrewed flight.

On December 15, 2022, the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft docked to the orbital outpost experienced a coolant leak on its external radiator. After analyzing the situation, Russia’s state commission made a decision to bring the damaged Soyuz spacecraft back to Earth in crewless mode and return Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, whose mission has been prolonged for several months, aboard the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft. Initially, it was planned to send Soyuz MS-23 to space in mid-March, to take the next ISS mission to the orbital outpost.

Russian space industry specialists have carried out special investigations to find out that the Soyuz MS-22 was damaged by a sporadic micrometeoroid.