Leaky Soyuz Spaceship Departs Space Station and Lands in Kazakhstan

Soyuz MS-22 Crew Shipdocked to Rassvet Module

The Soyuz MS-22 crew ship is pictured docked to the Rassvet module. In the background, the Prichal docking module is attached to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Credit: NASA

The uncrewed Roscosmos Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft made an automated, parachute-assisted landing in Kazakhstan at 7:46 a.m. EDT (5:46 p.m. Kazakhstan time) on Tuesday after undocking as scheduled from the International Space Station at 5:57 a.m.

Remaining aboard the station is the seven-person crew of Expedition 69 with Station Commander Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos, NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen, Woody Hoburg, and Frank Rubio, UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Andrey Fedyaev and Dmitri Petelin.

Soyuz MS-22 Departs Space Station

The Soyuz MS-22 begins to depart the station following its undocking from the Rassvet module. Credit: NASA TV

Yesterday, with the uncrewed Soyuz crew ship scheduled to depart the International Space Station (ISS) the next morning, the seven-member Expedition 68 crew focused on new science experiments and hardware recently delivered aboard the SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle.

Three space station residents who arrived at the orbiting lab on September 21 last year aboard the Soyuz MS-22 crew ship will continue their stay in space after their spacecraft’s departure. The passengerless vehicle parachuted to a landing in Kazakhstan less than two hours after departure completing a six-month mission docked to the Rassvet module.

Station Commander Sergey Prokopyev with Roscosmos Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin and NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio are extending their stay in space for a yearlong mission. The trio is due to return to Earth in September inside the Soyuz MS-23 crew ship, which arrived unoccupied in February.

Soyuz MS-23 Spacecraft Approaching Space Station

The Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft is seen approaching the Poisk module of the space station prior to docking as the space station was flying 260 miles above northern Mongolia. Credit: NASA TV

Meanwhile, the station’s crew members have begun activating new science experiments and servicing spacesuit gear delivered aboard the SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle on March 16.

NASA Flight Engineer Stephen Bowen worked in the Kibo laboratory module setting up biology hardware that will house samples exposed to artificial gravity to potentially treat muscle and bone issues on Earth and in space. Flight Engineer Woody Hoburg processed samples for a study exploring ways to produce new pharmaceuticals in space and isolated locations on Earth. UAE (United Arab Emirates) Flight Engineer Sultan Alneyadi unpacked a new spacesuit, or Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), inside the recently-arrived Cargo Dragon space freighter.

ISS Configuration March 28 2023

March 28, 2023: International Space Station Configuration. Five spacecraft are parked at the space station including the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour and Cargo Dragon vehicles, the Northrop Grumman Cygnus space freighter, and Russia’s Soyuz MS-23 crew ship and Progress 83 resupply ship. Credit: NASA

Rubio checked on components inside the Fluid Science Laboratory located in the Columbus laboratory module before continuing to unload some of the 6,200 pounds of cargo packed inside the Cargo Dragon. Prokopyev readied the MS-22 for its undocking early Tuesday while his fellow cosmonauts Petelin and Andrey Fedyaev worked on normal orbital plumbing and lab maintenance tasks.

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