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Soyuz MS-23

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Soyuz MS-23
NamesISS 69S
Mission typeUncrewed spacecraft replacement mission to ISS
COSPAR ID2023-024A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.55688Edit this on Wikidata
Mission duration215 days, 10 hours and 53 minutes
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftSoyuz MS No.754
Spacecraft typeSoyuz MS
ManufacturerRSC Energia
Crew size0 up
3 down
Start of mission
Launch date24 February 2023, 00:24 UTC
Launch siteBaikonur Cosmodrome, Site 31
ContractorProgress Rocket Space Centre
End of mission
Landing date27 September 2023, 11:17 UTC
Landing siteKazakh Steppe, Kazakhstan
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Docking with ISS
Docking portPoisk zenith
Docking date26 February 2023, 00:58 UTC
Undocking date6 April 2023, 08:45 UTC
Time docked39 days, 7 hours and 47 minutes
Docking with ISS (Relocation)
Docking portPrichal nadir[a]
Docking date6 April 2023, 09:22 UTC
Undocking date27 September 2023, 07:54 UTC[1]
Time docked173 days, 22 hours and 32 minutes
Mass~430 kg (950 lb)
Pressurised~430 kg (950 lb)

Soyuz MS-23 was an uncrewed Russian Soyuz spaceflight that launched from Baikonur on 24 February 2023 to the International Space Station to replace the damaged Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft for landing that NASA astronaut Francisco Rubio and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin launched onboard on 21 September 2022 and had a coolant leak on 14 December before returning to Earth uncrewed on 28 March 2023.[2]


Due to the 0.8 mm (0.031 in)-diameter hole punctured in the radiator of Soyuz MS-22 due to micro-meteoroid impact,[3] there were doubts over the safety of Soyuz MS-22. So it was returned uncrewed like Soyuz 32, and MS-23 was launched uncrewed like Soyuz 34 as a replacement.[4][5] As it was launched uncrewed, it carried ~430 kg (950 lb) dry cargo and equipment in its pressurized section, like a Progress MS spacecraft.

Until the replacement MS-23 docked with the ISS, SpaceX Crew-5 was considered among the options to return the MS-22 crew in case of emergency. This is due to the fact that SpaceX originally designed the Crew Dragon to host a crew of seven at a time. Due to these reasons, the International Space Station mission management team decided to move NASA astronaut Francisco Rubio's Soyuz seat liner from the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft to Dragon Endurance to provide lifeboat capabilities in the event Rubio would need to return to Earth because of an emergency evacuation from the space station. The seat liner was moved on 17 January 2023, with installation and configuration continuing through most of the day, 18 January 2023. This seat liner swapping is not new between two Soyuz, but this was the first time swapping from Soyuz to Crew Dragon.[6] The change allowed for increased crew protection by reducing the heat load inside the MS-22 spacecraft for cosmonauts Prokopyev and Petelin in the event of an emergency return to Earth. Alongside SpaceX Crew-6 space capsule is designed to bring back crew serving as an emergency evacuation after Crew-5.[7]

As the MS-23 arrived at the space station on 26 February, Rubio's seat liner was transferred to the new Soyuz on 6 March, and the seat liners for Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin were moved from MS-22 to MS-23 on 2 March ahead of their return in the Soyuz.[6]


Primary Crew

Position Launching Crew member Landing Crew member
Commander Russia Oleg Kononenko, Roscosmos
Expedition 68/69
Fifth spaceflight
Flight Engineer/Spaceflight Participant Russia Nikolai Chub, Roscosmos
Expedition 68/69/70
First spaceflight
Belarus Marina Vasilevskaya[8], Belarus Space Agency
First spaceflight
Flight Engineer United States Loral O'Hara, NASA
Expedition 68/69
First spaceflight

Backup crew

Position Crew member
Commander Russia Aleksey Ovchinin, Roscosmos
Flight Engineer 1 Russia Oleg Platonov, Roscosmos
Flight Engineer 2 United States Tracy Caldwell-Dyson[9], NASA

New scenario[edit]

As Soyuz MS-22 was unable to perform crew return, it reentered uncrewed like Soyuz 32, and MS-23 was launched empty like Soyuz 34 to return the crew.[10] The original crewed mission was delayed and reassigned to the MS-24 mission.


Position Launching Crew member Landing Crew member
Commander None Russia Sergey Prokopyev, Roscosmos
Expedition 67/68/69
Second spaceflight
Flight Engineer None Russia Dmitry Petelin, Roscosmos
Expedition 67/68/69
First spaceflight
Flight Engineer None United States Francisco Rubio, NASA
Expedition 67/68/69
First spaceflight


  1. ^ because Poisk Module needs to be clear for depressurization during spacewalks
  1. ^ Graf, Abby (27 September 2023). "Crewed Soyuz Spacecraft Undocking Live on NASA TV". blogs.nasa.gov. NASA. Archived from the original on 15 October 2023. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  2. ^ Zak, Anatoly (16 February 2023). "Space exploration in 2023". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  3. ^ "Госкорпорация "Роскосмос"".
  4. ^ Pavlushchenko, Katya [@katlinegrey] (19 December 2022). "A big update on the incident with #SoyuzMS22 appeared on the Roscosmos website: https://t.co/cJGMOhh9Xr. Quick summary in the thread below. ⤵️ https://t.co/Gj1SCTG49j" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 19 December 2022. Retrieved 20 December 2022 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ Jeff Foust (26 February 2023). "Replacement Soyuz arrives at space station". Space News. Retrieved 23 May 2023.
  6. ^ a b Garcia, Mark (13 January 2023). "Spacewalk Preps Continue as Soyuz Seat Move Planned as Precaution". blogs.nasa.gov. Retrieved 14 January 2023. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  7. ^ Expedition 68 NASA's SpaceX Crew-6 Leaders Discuss Mission – Jan. 25, 2023. NASA Video. 25 January 2023. Archived from the original on 14 February 2023. Retrieved 20 March 2023 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ "Belarusian female astronaut to go ISS in March 2024 — Roscosmos". TASS. Retrieved 30 May 2023.
  9. ^ Imgur. "imgur.com". Imgur. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  10. ^ "Russia to launch new capsule to return space station crew". WJXT. Associated Press. 11 January 2023. Retrieved 11 January 2023.