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US and Russian astronauts stuck waiting in space after spacecraft suffered damage


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NASA astronaut and Expedition 68 Flight Engineer Nicole Mann peers through one of the seven windows in the cupola, the International Space Station's "window to the world." Mann displays the U.S. flag inside the cupola in the window next to her.


BREVARD, Fla. — NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin are faced with extending their stay aboard the International Space Station by several months and will require a new ride home after their Russian MS-22 Soyuz spacecraft sprang a leak last month.


The trio was supposed to use that spacecraft to return to Earth in March. Wednesday, NASA and Russian space officials unveiled a plan to launch an empty Soyuz capsule to the ISS to ferry them back instead. That means the three men will spend several more months at the ISS.


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Dodgy Russian engineering


"MS-22 Russian Soyuz spacecraft that transported Rubio, Prokopyev, and Petelin to the station back in September sprang a leak on Dec. 14."

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