They delayed the return to Earth of three astronauts who are on the International Space Station

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, together with Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin (REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov)

three astronauts who are supposed to leave the International Space Station this month They will return to Earth at the end of September.doubling its time aboard the orbiting laboratory to more than a year, the Russian space agency announced Friday.

the return of the russians Sergey Prokopyev y Dmitri Peteliny Frank Rubio NASA was delayed after the Soyuz capsule they planned to travel in suffered a coolant leak while it was already docked to the space station.

An empty Soyuz was sent to the station at the end of February to serve as a rescue capsule. The three-person replacement crew originally scheduled to be aboard that capsule will now head to the space station on September 15, the space agency added. Roscosmos.

Prokopyev, Petelin and Rubio will return on September 27; launched into space on September 21, 2022.

FILE PHOTO: The International Space Station (ISS) is photographed by Roscosmos cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov (Pyotr Dubrov/Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS/File)

In addition to Prokopyev, Petelin and Rubio, the space station houses NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada; the Russian Anna Kikina; and the Japanese Koichi Wakata. The four traveled in a SpaceX capsule last October.

Roscosmos also announced in February that Russia will extend its involvement in the International Space Station until 2028, reversing last year’s statement by Roscosmos chief Yuri Borisov, who said Russia planned to abandon the station after 2024 and focus on building its own outpost. in orbit.

The International Space Station, which has served as a symbol of post-Cold War international cooperation, is now one of the last remaining areas of cooperation between Russia and the West amid tensions over Moscow’s military action in Ukraine.

NASA and its partners hope to continue operating the International Space Station through 2030.

(With information from AP)

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