Moscow, Jan 11 (EFE).- The Russian space agency Wednesday said it would send a new spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on Feb.20 to replace the damaged Soyuz MS-22 that developed a leak in the cooling system.
Roscosmos head Yuri Borisov told the Russian media that the State Commission had decided to launch the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft without a crew and with cargo bound for the ISS.
Borisov said the crewless flight allowed to advance the launch of the spacecraft in the wake of the fault in the original capsule.
He said after the damage to the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft docked at the space station, the authorities discussed two launch variants of the Soyuz MS-23—one with a single-person crew and the other being crewless.
Borisov said the variant with a single cosmonaut required changes to the ship that would have delayed the launch by several weeks.
Crew members onboard the Russian segment of the ISS reported to the ground control center in December that a sensor had sustained damage to its external casing.
The space agency noted that the crew reported an activation of the sensor of the spaceship’s fault detection system that signaled a drop in pressure in the cooling system, indicating a leak.
The leak was “visually confirmed” later.
The leak forced the cancellation of the spacewalk by cosmonauts Sergei Prokopiev and Dmitri Petelin.
Russian cosmonaut Anna Kíkina took photos and recorded videos of the Soyuz hull with a camera mounted on a robotic arm attached to the Naúka module.
In mid-August, the Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemiev also returned to the ISS earlier than expected due to problems with his diving suit. EFE