Leak inspection finds hole in Russian spacecraft docked with ISS

The Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft is docked with Russia's Rassvet ISS module in an October 8, 2022 photo.

The Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft is docked with Russia’s Rassvet ISS module in an October 8, 2022 photo.
photo: NASA

An inspection has revealed a 0.8 millimeter wide hole in the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft that caused a coolant leak outside the International Space Station last week. Russian Space Agency Roscosmos will make one Decision on the airworthiness of the spacecraft later this month, at which point Russia may choose to expedite the launch of a replacement capsule.

The hole is said to be in the ship’s instrument compartment on the Soyuz service module Roskosmos boss Yuri Borisov and how reported by the state news agency TASS. “The Soyuz’s primary guidance, navigation, control and computing systems are housed in the instrument compartment, a sealed container filled with circulating nitrogen gas to cool the avionics equipment,” NASA said says.

The Soyuz MS-22 leaked on Dec 15 Sending streams of coolant into space and the cancellation of a Russian spacewalk. NASA and Roscosmos have both said the incident poses no risk to the crew or the orbiting space station. A preliminary inspection using a robotic arm confirmed the leak shortly after it began Thursday, with a follow-up inspection conducted earlier today now confirming the hole that may have been present caused by a micrometeorite or a tiny piece of space debris.

Today’s inspection “showed that there is a tiny hole” in the instrument compartment “measuring about 0.8mm that caused the leak,” Borisov said on Monday, who describes the current situation as “not very pleasant”. The Russian Space Agency hired one Deadline from 27.12 to determine the status and fate of the damaged Soyuz spacecraft. Two working groups will decide whether the spacecraft can pick up passengers and return to the surface, or whether it must be scrapped.

The MS-22 capsule is designed to return NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and Roskosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin to Earthn Early spring, but the trio may have lost theirs Journey. A SpaceX Crew Dragon is also parked outside the ISS, but that’s reserved for NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos’ Anna Kikina. The Crew Dragon cannot accommodate seven people, but the Russian space agency has an opportunity to speed up its next Soyuz launch to the ISS. the MS-23 mission.

“Of course we have backup options,” Borisov told the state media company Izvestia. “We will prepare the spacecraft faster. Instead of the planned descent in March, we will prepare it somewhere by February 19th. It is already installed at the Baikonur Cosmodrome and is going through all the tests,” he said. He added: β€œIn this situation, we will simply undock the Soyuz MS-22, it will descend to Earth and we will send a second one [uncrewed] spaceship to bring the crew back.”

It’s not yet clear if the MS-22 is toast, but there is cause for concern. As Associated Press reportsThe temperature in the crew compartment of the capsule rose to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) as a result of the leak, while the temperature in the equipment compartment rose temporarily to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) before ground crews shut down some of the spacecraft’s systems.

The crew used fans to blow cooler air into the Soyuz capsule to lower the cabin’s temperature, Roscosmos said, adding that “the temperature rise on the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft is allowable and not necessary for the capsule’s functioning.” equipment or health of the crew is critical if they have to be in the spacecraft.” According to TASS, Borisov denied speculation that the Soyuz cabin temperature had risen to 50 degrees Celsius.

According to NASA, Roscosmos air traffic controllers a successful exam of the Soyuz MS-22 engines on Friday, so there is at least some positive news. Additionally, NASA is advancing a planned spacewalk to continue the installation of the International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA), which was scheduled to take place today but will instead take place on Wednesday, December 21st.

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