Russian space agency launches Soyuz spacecraft to bring back 3 astronauts stranded on ISS

The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, has successfully launched a Soyuz spacecraft to bring back three astronauts stranded on the International Space Station (ISS) after their Soyuz capsule sprang a coolant leak. The two Russian and an American astronaut will board the empty Soyuz spacecraft to return to Earth.

The Soyuz MS-23 vessel, loaded with supplies, was launched from the Russian-operated Baikonur Cosmodrome. It is slated to reach the orbiting lab and dock with the International Space Station on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Roscosmos said, the trio would now return to Earth aboard Soyuz MS-23 in September.

The three astronauts reached the ISS last September and their mission was supposed to last for six months but it was prolonged because their return vehicle started leaking coolant in December. The reason for the leak as believed by US and Russian space officials was a micrometeorite that damaged an external radiator.

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