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Mission “Lifeboat” to ISS

An unmanned Soyuz capsule docked at the ISS to replace a damaged Space Shuttle on the International Space Station. After launching from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday, Soyuz MS-23 arrived at the space station today, show live footage from the US space agency NASA. The capsule carried about 430 kilos of material for the crew, including medical equipment and equipment for scientific experiments.

The unusual mission became necessary because the MS-22 ferry, which had already docked at the ISS, has a leak – probably caused by a micrometeorite. Liquid leaking from the cooling system made the return of two Russians and an American to Earth seem risky. Now it is planned that cosmonauts Sergei Prokopjew and Dmitri Petelin, as well as NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, who arrived at the ISS with MS-22 in September, are to return to Earth with MS-23 in the fall. Meanwhile, the damaged MS-22 capsule could fly back from the ISS without a crew.

Although Russia and the US have worked together on the space station some 400 kilometers above Earth for more than 20 years, the relationship has fallen into a serious crisis since the Russian invasion of Ukraine about a year ago. Both countries continue to cooperate in space, although some tensions have already arisen here, triggered by the conflict in Ukraine.