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Russian cosmonauts to test Soyuz MS-22 systems

It is reported that cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev, Andrey Fedyaev and Dmitry Petelin to take part in the tests

MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. Thermal tests of the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft’s systems will be held aboard the International Space Station on Wednesday in the run-up to its landing in late March, Russia’s state-run space corporation Roscosmos said.

"Today. specialists of Russia’s Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC) Energia, with the assistance of Roscosmos cosmonauts, will hold thermal tests of the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft’s systems aboard the International Space Station," the state corporation said.

According to the state corporation, cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev, Andrey Fedyaev and Dmitry Petelin (who is a TASS special correspondent aboard the ISS), will take part in the tests.

"The results of those tests will be transmitted to the ground to be assessed by RSC Energia specialists," Roscosmos said.

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.

ISS Russian Segment Flight Operations Director, Chief Designer for Russia’s Piloted Systems Vladimir Solovyov said in February that there were plans to return the damaged Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft to Earth in an unmanned regime in late March. In his words, the spacecraft may experience critical overheating during the landing.