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Crew of Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft completes year-long mission on ISS

The crew returned from the ISS aboard the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft, which landed southeast of the Kazakh city of Jezkazgan

KOROLEV /Moscow Region/, September 27. /TASS/. Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin, who served as a TASS special correspondent in orbit, and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio have returned to Earth after the longest mission in the history of the International Space Station (ISS), a TASS correspondent reports from Mission Control near Moscow.

The crew returned from the ISS aboard the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft, which landed southeast of the Kazakh city of Jezkazgan. Rescuers headed to the descent vehicle to help the crew out of the capsule.

Prokopyev, Petelin and Rubio arrived at the ISS on September 21 last year. The crew was originally scheduled to return to Earth in the spring, but their mission had to be extended until September 27 due to a leak from the external radiator the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft's thermal control system on December 15, 2022. To ensure the safe return of the two Russian cosmonauts and the US astronaut to Earth the Soyuz MS-23 was sent to the ISS without a crew.

The just-ended expedition became the longest in the history of the ISS. By the moment of landing the crew had spent 371 days in space. Only cosmonauts Valery Polyakov and Sergey Avdeyev, who flew aboard the Mir orbital station, stayed in orbit longer non-stop. Polyakov’s mission in 1994-1995 lasted 437 days, and Avdeyev’s in 1998-1999, 379 days.

During the year-long flight on the ISS, 19 orbit corrections were carried out with the Russian spacecraft’s engines. Prokopyev and Petelin made six spacewalks, mostly for retrofitting the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. The ISS crew also received 15 spacecraft during the expedition, including four Progress MS cargo ships.

Dmitry Petelin, who was also doing the job of a TASS special correspondent on the ISS, reported on Tuesday that during the expedition the cosmonauts jogged more than 1,100 kilometers on the treadmill. During the year, he also reported on experiments under the ISS research program, in particular, an experiment to grow crystals in an electric vacuum furnace in microgravity, the experiment Cardiovector, in which the cosmonauts studied the effect of weightlessness on the heart and respiration parameters, and the experiment Cascade to grow fungal cultures. In addition, most of the ISS module mock-ups have been printed on a 3D printer since April. Throughout the year, Petelin served as a TASS special correspondent, sending photo and video content. He also contributed a hundred stories to the agency’s newsfeed.