24 Mar 2022 10:45

Roscosmos confirms U.S. astronaut will soon return to Earth

MOSCOW. March 24 (Interfax) - The Russian State Space Corporation Roscosmos will continue to fulfill its commitments with regard to the International Space Station (ISS) and will fly the U.S. astronaut back to Earth, the Roscosmos press service said.

"In light of the incorrect information that has appeared in the foreign media and has drawn concern from the family of astronaut Mark Vande Hei, the Roscosmos press service wants to dispel these rumors," Roscosmos said on Telegram.

"General Director of the State Corporation Dmitry Rogozin and its press service have said on numerous occasions that Roscosmos will continue to honor its commitments related to the ISS," it said.

Detailed information about the return of the Soyuz MS-19 crew, made up of Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, is available for viewing on the Roscosmos website, the press service said.

U.S. media outlets said earlier that, in connection with the sanctions imposed by the U.S. on the Russian space and rocket sector, there could be problems with the return of Vande Hei, who is due to be flown back to Earth by Roscosmos.

As reported, the Soyuz MS-19's landing has been scheduled for March 30. The latest information available indicates that the landing capsule is expected to touch down 147 kilometers south-east of the city of Zhezkazgan in Kazakhstan at 2:28 p.m. Moscow time.