16.4 C
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Russia plans to launch new Soyuz spacecraft to interchange a leaky one docked on the ISS

Must read

- Advertisement -

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft docked to the Worldwide House Station (ISS) started leaking coolant early final month, resulting in considerations about whether or not the automobile can be secure to move ISS crew members again to Earth. 

NASA and Russian house company Roscosmos have now introduced they are going to be sending a substitute spacecraft for NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin during which to journey house. A SpaceX Crew Dragon can also be accessible as a contingency choice ought to or not it’s required.

Roscosmos will ship a substitute Soyuz referred to as MS-23 to the ISS, launching on February twentieth so it may be used to return the astronauts to Earth. This mission had been scheduled to launch in March carrying new crew members, however it would now launch earlier and with no crew.

NASA is referring to the brand new Soyuz as a substitute automobile, not a rescue, and is emphasizing that the house station crew is secure. “We’re not calling it a rescue Soyuz. Proper now, the crew is secure aboard the house station,” Joel Montalbano, Worldwide House Station program supervisor at NASA’s Johnson House Heart in Houston, mentioned in a briefing. “There’s no rapid want for the crew to come back house in the present day. All of the techniques are working.”

A picture of the injury to the docked Soyuz was obtained utilizing the house station’s robotic arm, exhibiting that there’s a gap via the Soyuz radiator in addition to the pipe supplying coolant. With coolant from the system having leaked out, it will be harmful to fly within the automobile because the temperatures might attain excessive ranges throughout a return journey to Earth.

- Advertisement -

“The primary drawback to land the present Soyuz with the crew can be thermal circumstances as a result of we misplaced warmth rejection functionality on Soyuz,” Sergei Krikalev, Human House Flight Applications govt director at Roscosmos, defined within the briefing. Between the physique warmth of crew members, warmth generated by gear, and the warmth brought on by friction because the automobile travels via the environment, the temperatures within the crew and gear compartments might attain unsafe ranges. 

When the brand new Soyuz arrives on the house station, gear might be moved from the {old} automobile to the brand new one. Then the brand new Soyuz might be used to carry the crew again to Earth, and the {old} Soyuz might be landed as traditional however with out crew so it may be checked for injury and its results on efficiency.

“The returning Soyuz might be taking some temperature measurements to measure how the automobile does on this situation, such that if we ever had a necessity sooner or later, we now have some further information,” Montalbano mentioned. “So we’re going to totally use this automobile all the way in which till it lands again on Earth.”

There’s additionally a chance of SpaceX utilizing its at present docked Crew-5 Crew Dragon automobile as a backup to return astronauts to Earth if mandatory. NASA says it’s involved with SpaceX concerning the state of affairs, however this can be a contingency plan solely and shouldn’t be mandatory if the crew can journey on the brand new Soyuz. 

As for the reason for the leak, Krikalev mentioned that their investigation revealed it was not brought on by a technological or manufacturing problem. This had been a priority as this was not the primary time a Soyuz had leaked whereas docked to the ISS — the same Soyuz leak occurred in 2018. On the time, Roscosmos rather bizarrely claimed that the leak might have been brought on by sabotage drilling relatively than a producing defect.

Many observers initially thought the newest leak might have been brought on by a micrometeoroid impact, significantly because it occurred across the time of the Geminid meteor bathe when Earth passes via a subject of particles in its orbit. A micrometeoroid strike nonetheless appears the more than likely rationalization for the injury, with Krikalev saying that experiments confirmed related injury brought on by a particle round 1mm in diameter and touring at 7 kilometers per second. Nonetheless, this influence was unrelated to the meteor shower as the opening is in a distinct location from the course the Geminids come from.

NASA says it would announce the exact dates for the following few months of deliberate flights within the subsequent weeks.

Source link

More articles

- Advertisement -

Latest article