Another Russian spacecraft docked to the ISS caused a leak

Another Russian spacecraft docked to the ISS caused a leak

Another Russian spacecraft docked to the ISS caused a leak

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It happened again. A Russian Progress cargo spacecraft docked with the International Space Station has caused a coolant leak, NASA said in a statement on Saturday. This is the second such incident in recent months after a Russian Soyuz spacecraft attached to the ISS vomits coolant from a leak in December.

NASA said that “Engineers at the Russian Mission Control Center outside Moscow recorded a depressurization in the cooling loop of the unmanned Roscosmos Progress 82 cargo ship, which is docked to the space-facing Poisk module at the station”. The cause of the leak is under investigation.

The unmanned Progress 82 (also known as Progress MS-21) arrived late October last year carrying several tons of food, fuel and supplies. It is currently filled with waste for disposal and is expected to undock on Friday, February 17 to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

More importantly, the crew – made up of three NASA astronauts, a Japanese astronaut and three Russian cosmonauts – are safe. “The hatches between Progress 82 and the station are open, and temperatures and pressures aboard the station are all normal,” NASA said. “The crew, who have been notified of the cooling loop leak, are not in danger and are continuing with normal space station operations.”

At least the Progress spacecraft isn’t used to transport humans. NASA and Roscomos have declared the leaked Soyuz MS-22 unfit to bring crew return to Earth, requiring a new plan to bring NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin home. The agencies have drawn up a plan to send a new Soyuz in February and detach the MS-22 without a crew on board.

Roscosmos and NASA suspect that a micrometeorite (a tiny space rock) may have caused the Soyuz leak. It is not yet known if the Progress issue can be traced to a similar source or if the leak originated from a similar location. A cargo craft leak isn’t as worrisome as a Soyuz leak, but the combination of the two being so close together will likely trigger closer scrutiny of Russian spacecraft, especially since the launch of a “replacement” Soyuz ” approach.


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