Science and Technology

Russia to send backup Soyuz to bring 3rd ISS crew to Earth – 01/11/2023

Russia will send a substitute Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on February 20 to bring three astronauts to Earth – two Russians and one American – after the capsule that was supposed to carry them suffered injury.

The Soyuz MS-22 capsule, at present docked to the ISS, skilled a serious coolant leak in mid-December. The photographs present a jet of particles popping out of the rear of the automotive.

After inspecting the situation of the broken craft, the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) deemed it preferable to send one other, a Soyuz MS-23, to return Russian cosmonauts Sergei Prokopiev and Dmitry Petelin and American astronaut Frank Rubio.

The capsule “will likely be launched on February 20, 2023 with out passengers” however with materials, Roscosmos stated in an announcement.

The launch of this craft was initially scheduled for March 16 to carry three extra crew members to the ISS.

The return date of the 2 Russian cosmonauts and the American astronaut, initially deliberate for March 28, has not been introduced, however their mission has been “prolonged by a number of months,” Roscosmos director of manned flights Sergey advised a information convention. .

The broken capsule will return to Earth with out passengers, most likely “between mid-to-late March,” he added.

– Emergency situations –

In anticipation of the arrival of the substitute ship, in case an emergency scenario arises that necessitates the evacuation of the ISS, the Russian and American house companies are finding out completely different situations.

However, they emphasised that this chance is very unlikely. The first could be for the three crew members to return aboard the broken Soyuz, regardless of issues concerning the temperature that could possibly be registered contained in the craft through the touchdown.

The second could be to scale back the “warmth load” on board the Soyuz, “crew discount”. A crew member will then be transported by a SpaceX spacecraft that can be at present docked to the ISS.

In addition to the three crew members who arrived aboard Soyuz, the ISS at present has 4 extra occupants who arrived aboard SpaceX’s Dragon capsule.

The concept is to have only one individual on board, “within the space the place the cargo would usually be,” defined Joel Montalbano, NASA’s ISS program supervisor.

– Micrometeorite Impact –

The leak was found Dec. 14 on Soyuz as two Russian cosmonauts ready to go into outer house.

An preliminary evaluation of the causes of the leak thought of potential ruptures brought on by small meteorites of pure origin, man-made particles in orbit, or materials injury.

On Wednesday, Roskomos stated the model of a collision with a micrometeorite “has been experimentally confirmed”. According to the Russian house company, it blew a gap “lower than a millimeter in diameter” in a cooling pipe.

Given the velocity at which specialists imagine the item hit the ISS, it might’t be greater than a “randomly directed meteorite” moderately than a bit of particles that “could not have stayed in that orbit” at that velocity, Krikaliov defined, ruling out any type of mechanical downside.

The ISS is likely one of the few sectors through which Russia and the US nonetheless cooperate, following the beginning of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine on February 24 final yr and the Western sanctions that adopted the battle.

Last month, Roscosmos director Yuri Borisov thanked the Americans for his or her solidarity aboard the ISS, who “reached out to us for assist” at a time when bilateral relations are at their worst.

The ISS was launched in 1998, throughout a interval of cooperation between Moscow and Washington, following the house race between the 2 nations through the Cold War.

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© Agence France-Presse

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