Russia to launch Soyuz capsule to ISS to bring 3 stranded astronauts home

Russia will launch a first-of-its-kind mission to bring a replacement spacecraft to astronauts who’ve been stranded in orbit without a lifeboat for nearly a month, space officials said Wednesday.

The country plans to send an empty Soyuz capsule to the International Space Station in February to replace the one that was slammed by a tiny meteoroid and began leaking coolant in December, Russia’s Roscosmos agency and NASA said.

“This is the next Soyuz that was scheduled to fly in March. It will just fly a little early,” NASA space station manager Joel Montalbano said at a press conference Wednesday.

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