February 24, 2023

The Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft blasting off atop a Soyuz-2.1a rocket (Image NASA TV)

A few hours ago, the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft blasted off atop a Soyuz-2.1a rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. After about nine minutes it successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage and was placed on its route, which requires about two days of journey. It replaces the damaged Soyuz MS-22 as a vehicle for the return of its three crew members: Dmitri Petelin, Frank Rubio, and Sergey Prokopyev. This is the solution chosen by the Russian Roscosmos space agency after having established the impossibility of using the Soyuz MS-22 for the return journey with a crew on board in safety conditions.