Feb 26 (Reuters) – Russian space agency Roscosmos said a Russian spacecraft docked at the station early on Sunday to bring back crew members stranded on the International Space Station (ISS).
Soyuz MS-23, which launched Friday from the Baikanur Space Center in Kazakhstan, is set to bring back Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin and American astronaut Francisco Rubio in September.
All three were scheduled to complete their assignments in March. They were stranded in space two months ago after their Soyuz MS-22 capsule’s cooling system began leaking. The Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft is now unmanned and is scheduled to be launched next month.
“Today at 03:58 Moscow time (00:58 GMT), the Soyuz MS-23 unmanned spacecraft docked automatically with the Poisk module of the International Space Station,” Roscosmos said on the Telegram messaging site.
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The Poisk module is a docking module on the ISS.
Roscosmos chief executive Yuri Borisov said the next spacewalk by Russian cosmonauts at the station will take place in April or May.
The Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft carried 429 kilograms (946 lb) of additional cargo to the station, needed to extend the astronauts’ mission, Russian agencies said.
Reporting by Lydia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Kim Coghill
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