11 Jan 2023 19:32

Soyuz MS-22 crew expedition to ISS to be extended by several months - Roscosmos

WASHINGTON. Jan 11 (Interfax) - The mission of the Soyuz MS-22 crew to the International Space Station (ISS) will be extended by several months, Roscosmos Executive Director for Manned Space Programs Sergei Krikalev said.

"Since a new spacecraft is scheduled to arrive and the next crew rotation is expected in six months, we will probably extend the term of Expedition 68 aboard the station by a few more months," Krikalev said during a United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) teleconference.

"The exact date when we will send them replacements has not yet been determined, but the mission will last a few more months," he said.

According to Joel Montalbano, ISS program manager at NASA, one of the Soyuz MS-22 crew members may move to the Crew Dragon spacecraft in case of an emergency before the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft arrives to the ISS.

Roscosmos head Yury Borisov said earlier on Wednesday that the state commission had decided to launch the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft to the ISS on February 20 in unmanned mode with cargo delivery.

"The flight of cosmonauts Sergei Prokopyev, Dmitry Petelin and NASA astronaut Francisco Rubio is extended with the return to Earth on the Soyuz MS-23," Borisov told reporters.

The Soyuz MS-22 spaceship with a damaged radiator will land in unmanned mode, Borisov said.