According to Russian space reporter Anthony Zak, Russia now says it will make its final decision on replacing the leaking manned Soyuz capsule on ISS January 11. Zak added this:
According to unofficial reports, the damaged spacecraft would return to Earth without crew, while the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft would be launched in February 2023 piloted by a single cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko. His crew mates Nikolai Chub and Andrei Fedyaev would remain on the ground to free return seats for the two Russian members of the stranded Soyuz MS-22 crew. NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, who also traveled to the ISS on Soyuz MS-22, would return to Earth aboard a US Dragon vehicle, according to that scenario. On Jan. 9, 2023, Roskosmos denied that such a plan had been approved.
I have strong doubts about these “unofficial reports.” First, there would be no reason to fly the Soyuz manned, as it can do everything automatically, just like a Progress freighter. Second, there are serious safety issues about flying Rubio home as an extra passenger on Dragon. More likely someone in Russia wants to tweak some noses by suggesting Russia considers its own astronauts more valuable than the American.
Expect Russia to announce that the new Soyuz will arrive unmanned in February, and bring all three men home.
On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.
The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon
, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit
. If you buy it from ebookit
you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.
The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.
"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News