Despite troubled bilateral ties on Earth, Russia launches spacecraft to rescue stranded NASA astronaut

by WorldTribune Staff, March 3, 2023

During a speech in Poland last month, Joe Biden said the U.S. would impose new sanctions against Russia to “seek justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity” committed by Vladimir Putin’s troops.

Russia launched an unmanned Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station on Feb. 23 to replace one that leaked coolant after it was struck by a meteoroid last year, stranding two cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut. / NASA photo

While Team Biden continues to portray Putin as one of the most evil tyrants on the Earth, it’s a different story in space.

On Feb. 23, Russia launched an unmanned Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) to rescue an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts who were stranded after the space station was struck by a meteoroid last year.

The Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft was launched with 948 pounds of supplies for the astronauts from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It was broadcast by NASA.

“And liftoff! A new ride back to Earth for Rubio, Prokopyev and Petelin,” Rob Navias with NASA communications said during the Feb. 23 broadcast.

NASA said the spacecraft will dock with the ISS after a two-day journey and return with NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin “later this year.”

The dilemma on how to bring Rubio and the cosmonauts home began when the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft was struck by a meteoroid on Dec. 15 and started to leak radiator coolant.

The Progress MS-21 cargo ship, also docked at the space station, suffered a similar leak.

The dock for the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft only opened up after the Progress spacecraft was able to undock from the ISS, Navias said. The Progress was de-orbited and burned up over the Pacific Ocean.

After the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft arrived, Prokopyev and Petelin moved their seat liners from the Soyuz MS-22 to the rescue ship while Rubio moved his from the Crew Dragon Endurance.

In a statement, Roscosmos said that the crew will return with the Soyuz MS-23 in September.

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