A Soyuz rescue craft might attain the area station in February
It will likely be a while earlier than the area station crew, now depending on the leaking Soyuz, can get house.
If Union MS-22 spacecraft might be declared unsafe after launch of coolant into area on December 14two cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut must wait till February for the backup Soyuz to reach at Worldwide area station (ISS), a Russian area official stated throughout a press convention on Thursday (December 22).
“Our subsequent crew … was speculated to fly in mid-March,” stated Sergei Krikalev, head of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Coaching Middle close to Moscow, throughout a dwell NASA press convention.
The brand new Soyuz on the bottom deliberate for this crew might as an alternative be launched empty to select up the three ISS crew members in the event that they had been certainly stranded. However Krikalev stated it might solely be “shipped a bit of earlier … about two to a few weeks earlier – that is the utmost we will do in the intervening time.”
Within the images: Worldwide Area Station at 20
The reason for the outlet that brought on the leak remains to be underneath investigation, however one concept has been dominated out: It was not a part of the continued Geminid meteor bathe as a result of the trajectory was within the unsuitable course, Joel Montalbano, NASA’s ISS program supervisor, stated throughout the identical briefing.
On Sunday (Dec. 18), NASA labored with cameras on the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm. The survey revealed a small gap in MS-22, that is the seemingly reason for the leak, however how the outlet occurred remains to be unknown.
“We have to work on the photographs to raised perceive if it was a meteorite influence or if there was an issue with the gear, and we’ve got that work forward of us,” Montalbano stated. One other risk is a chunk area particleshowever Krikalev stated such an object could be too small to trace from the bottom, as the outlet was solely 0.8 millimeters large.
If Russia does speed up the following Soyuz to the area station, the broken MS-22 will return empty. “Roscosmos plans to return the present Soyuz to orbit and gather knowledge to allow them to use it for future assessments,” Montalbano stated.
Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of “Why am I taller (opens in a brand new tab)?” (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a guide about area drugs. Comply with her on Twitter @howellspace (opens in a brand new tab). Comply with us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in a brand new tab) or Fb (opens in a brand new tab).
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