Three astronauts are apparently going to be away from their residence planet for twice so long as initially deliberate.
NASA’s Frank Rubio and cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin launched towards the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft on Sept. 21, 2022.
The trio was supposed to come back residence in March on that very same Soyuz. However the car, often known as MS-22, lost all of its coolant after an obvious micrometeoroid strike final month, rendering it unfit to hold astronauts besides within the occasion of an emergency. So Russia’s federal area company Roscosmos has determined to launch an uncrewed Soyuz to the orbiting lab on Feb. 20 to convey Rubio, Prokopyev and Petelin again to Earth.
Nonetheless, that subsequent Soyuz will keep docked on the ISS till its successor — a car that can carry crew — is able to go. That can probably be some time, so Rubio, Prokopyev and Petelin are getting a hefty mission extension.
“The plan is for Frank and Dimitri and Sergey to remain on board for a number of extra months till they arrive residence, most likely [in] late September,” Dina Contella, NASA’s ISS operations integration supervisor, stated throughout a press convention on Tuesday (Jan. 17).
“We’re wanting on the precise timing of that, however at this level, that may be when the car can be deliberate to come back residence,” she stated.
If “late September” means someday after Sept. 21, then the MS-22 crew will find yourself staying aloft for a full yr — one thing no NASA astronaut has ever achieved, as Ars Technica’s Eric Berger noted recently (opens in new tab).
A number of have come shut. For instance, Mark Vande Hei lived aboard the station for 355 days between April 2021 and April 2022. Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko logged 340 days in area between March 2015 and March 2016, and Christina Koch was away from Earth for nearly 329 days, from April 2019 to February 2020.
Of those missions, solely that of Kelly and Kornienko was purported to final so lengthy. Their extremely publicized “year in space” was designed to collect information concerning the results of long-duration spaceflight on the human physique, to help planning for future crewed missions to Mars.
Vande Hei and Koch lived aboard the ISS longer than deliberate as a result of scheduling points. Vande Hei’s extension, for instance, was necessitated by Russia’s resolution to launch filmmakers on the next Soyuz in line fairly than a substitute astronaut crew.
However NASA biomedical personnel and mission planners are probably utilizing the additional information generated throughout these unexpectedly gone flights — and so they’ll most likely research Rubio, Prokopyev and Petelin with the identical outlook and depth.
Cosmonauts have lived off Earth for a full yr constantly, by the best way. Valery Polyakov holds the period report for a single spaceflight, racking up 437 consecutive days (opens in new tab) aboard Russia’s outdated Mir space station in 1994 and 1995.
Mike Wall is the writer of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a e-book concerning the seek for alien life. Observe him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Observe us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).