Russian Soyuz spacecraft blasts off to get stranded crew

STORY: The Soyuz MS-23 lifted off at 00:24 a.m. GMT and will dock automatically to the Poisk module on Saturday (February 25), replacing the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft.

Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin and U.S. astronaut Francisco Rubio, who had been due to end their mission in March, were left stuck in space after the cooling system of their Soyuz MS-22 capsule started leaking about two months ago.

Both NASA and Roscosmos believe the MS-22's leak was caused by a micrometeoroid, a tiny particle of space rock, hitting the capsule at high velocity.