US and Russian astronauts caught ready in house after spacecraft broken

US and Russian astronauts caught ready in house after spacecraft broken

BREVARD, Fla. — NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and Russian cosmonauts Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitriy Pyatelin are dealing with a months-long extension of their keep aboard the Worldwide Area Station and can want one other journey dwelling after their Russian spacecraft MS-22 “Soyuz” was leaked a month in the past.

The trio was to make use of this spacecraft to return to Earth in March. On Wednesday, NASA and Russian house officers unveiled a plan to launch an empty Soyuz capsule to the ISS to ferry them again. Which means that the three males will spend a number of extra months on the ISS.

Throughout a press briefing, NASA’s Joel Montalbano, program supervisor for the Worldwide Area Station, stated NASA isn’t contemplating launching the MS-23 Soyuz on a rescue mission. “We do not name it a rescue union,” Montalbano stated. “The crew is now protected on the house station.”

“I name it a Soyuz substitute,” he stated. “There isn’t any quick want for the crew to return dwelling at the moment.”

Prolonged dwelling house

The Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft, initially supposed to fly the following rotation of Russian cosmonauts to the station in mid-March, is now being repurposed to grow to be an empty lifeboat to ferry the MS-22 crew dwelling later this 12 months. The empty ship is scheduled to be launched from the Baikanur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on February 20.

The flight of the MS-23 crew, as beforehand deliberate, would have left the ISS in the identical scenario, with extra folks on board than obtainable seats in a serviceable spacecraft to evacuate again to Earth within the unlikely occasion of a catastrophe.

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Meaning Rubio, Prokopiev and Petelin should prolong their keep in house till September, or till Roskosmos can construct one other Soyuz spacecraft to launch the following rotation of crew members who at the moment are caught on Earth longer than anticipated.

In response to Montalbano, the house station stays protected and the crew members are wholesome sufficient to stay in house whereas the plan is in place.

“They’re keen to remain till the launch date in September, if that is the case,” Montalbano stated. “If that launch date strikes ahead, then they’re able to go dwelling early.”

Jokingly, he stated, “I might need to seek out some extra ice cream to reward them.”

“The wonderful thing about our crews is that they’re keen to assist wherever we ask them to,” he stated. “They’re keen to go together with no matter answer we give them.”

US and Russian astronauts caught ready in house after spacecraft broken

Expedition 68 crew members Dmitry Pyatelin of Roscosmos (prime), Frank Rubio of NASA and Sergei Prokopyev of Roscosmos (backside) wave goodbye earlier than boarding the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft for launch on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022 ., on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Russian leak into house

The Russian Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft, which delivered Rubio, Prokopyev and Petelin to the station again in September, leaked on December 14. Coolant from the spacecraft’s exterior coolant circuit and radiator was ejected into house for a number of hours, as did Prokopiev and Petelin. had been making ready to enter outer house. Out of an abundance of warning to forestall publicity to the leaking materials, the spacewalk was canceled.

On December 18, NASA used the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to take photos and conduct a further exterior inspection of the broken spacecraft.

After a joint investigation by NASA and Roscosmos, the house companies are assured that the harm was brought on by a collision with a micrometeorite, which created a gap within the coolant circuit with a diameter of about one millimeter.

Though the leak was decided to pose no quick risk to the station or crew, it left the MS-22 Soyuz spacecraft unable to securely return the trio of astronauts dwelling.

A broken coolant circuit meant that the temperature and humidity within the Soyuz spacecraft’s cabin may skyrocket, resulting in a really uncomfortable and claustrophobic return dwelling that will usually take about six hours.

Russian crew ship

The Russian Soyuz MS-22 crew craft is pictured within the foreground on Oct. 8, 2022, docked with the Daybreak module because the Worldwide Area Station orbited 264 miles above Europa.

The best way ahead

As an alternative of returning the crew as anticipated about two weeks after the brand new Soyuz MS-23 docks with the station, the broken MS-22 spacecraft shall be refitted as a cargo transport. NASA and Roscosmos intend to gather information on cabin situations when the spacecraft returns to land in Kazakhstan in mid- to late March.

“On Soyuz’s return, we’ll do some temperature measurements to measure how the automobile performs on this state of affairs in order that if we ever want it sooner or later, we now have some extra information,” Montalbano stated. “We’ll make full use of this automobile all over till it lands again on Earth.”

Additionally talking to reporters on Wednesday, Sergei Krikalev, director of human spaceflight at Roskosmos, stated: “In the mean time, we now have calculations and thermal situations, however we wish to show this calculation with the consequence (in) actual time.”

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Going ahead, that is more likely to have an effect on the busy schedule of crew and cargo flights to the station till the top of this 12 months. How that impacts particular launch dates for missions comparable to NASA’s subsequent crewed mission, SpaceX’s Crew-6, which was scheduled to launch from the Kennedy Area Middle in mid-February, has but to be finalized.

“We want the following couple of weeks to provide you with a plan,” Montalbano stated. The shift is anticipated to have an effect on at the least 4 crewed missions and two resupply missions to the station till at the least September.

“We plan to put every part out now. We want a pair extra weeks to put all of it out,” Montalbano stated.

This text initially appeared on the USA TODAY NETWORK: The crew of cosmonauts want a brand new Russian spacecraft to return dwelling after being broken

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