Leaky like a sieve. The Russian part of the ISS leaked in orbit, disrupting the spacewalk of astronauts (video)
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An unexplained coolant leak has occurred on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft and it is not yet known why.
On Thursday, December 15, two Russian astronauts on the ISS were unable to enter outer space due to the fact that the ground crew noticed a significant leak of coolant from the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft. The leak from the ship docked with the ISS lasted more than 3 hours, and Russian engineers are still looking for the cause of this event, writes The Guardian.
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A video released by NASA shows a stream of snowflake-shaped particles erupting from the back of a Soyuz spacecraft. This particle stream is a coolant leak from the spacecraft's cooling system. This problem was noticed at 2:45 Kyiv time, December 15, by the Russian ground team.
The event itself took place before two Russian astronauts on the ISS, Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin, were already preparing for a spacewalk. This trip outside the orbital station was supposed to last 6 hours and 40 minutes. The astronauts even put on their spacesuits, but the controllers on Earth interrupted the spacewalk.
NASA said the observed coolant leak occurred in the external cooling system of the Soyuz spacecraft. Although the exact cause of the leak has not yet been established, and Russian engineers continue to study the data and try to figure out what could have provoked such a leak.
A NASA statement says that now the version that it was coolant is still being discussed in ” Roscosmos”. The Russian team is also trying to understand how dangerous this problem is for the integrity of the Soyuz spacecraft. According to NASA, the leak lasted approximately 3 hours, but nothing threatens the ISS crew.
According to NASA's Emily Nelson, Roscosmos specialists should check all systems on the spacecraft and take the necessary measures in accordance with their instructions. Russian experts must study the problem and find its cause, as well as understand the state of the Soyuz. They should announce their conclusions in the near future.
According to NASA, the spacewalk of the same Russian astronauts was already canceled at the end of November, when a problem with the cooling system of their spacesuits was discovered.
The Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft delivered Prokopiev, Petelin and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio to the ISS back in September of this year. On this ship, three members of the ISS crew should return to Earth in March 2023. Also, the Soyuz spacecraft is a “lifeboat” for astronauts in orbit in case of an emergency requiring crew evacuation.
Currently, there are 7 astronauts on the ISS: three Russians, three Americans and one representative of Japan.< /p>
It is worth noting that SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft, which delivered NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Kassada, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata and Russian woman Anna Kikina into orbit, is now docked with the ISS.
< p>As Focus already wrote, NASA is preparing to end the work of the ISS by the end of this decade. Therefore, a replacement is being prepared for the station and it will be the Orbital Reef orbital complex. An explosion occurred during testing of the prototype of the new station's residential module, but NASA is pleased with the result.