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NASA is contemplating utilizing SpaceX to deliver three astronauts again to Earth from the Worldwide Area Station after the Russian spacecraft as a result of return the crew suffered a major coolant leak.
On December 14, the Russian MS-22 Soyuz capsule, which is correct now docked to the ISS, began spraying droplets of coolant into area. That is the coolant that is supposed to regulate the interior temperature of the podule, and it’s reportedly now drained of that very important liquid.
The leak lasted hours, disrupting station operations, and forcing station cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin to desert a spacewalk deliberate for that day. Russia’s area company Roscosmos reckoned the leak might have been attributable to a tiny micrometeoroid puncturing the capsule.
Officers are nonetheless assessing the state of affairs, and can determine whether or not the Soyuz craft will be capable to safely return Prokopyev and Petelin, in addition to NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, to Earth in March. With a damaged coolant system, the capsule could also be unsafe for people because it reenters our environment. Russia is claimed to be pulling collectively plans to get the trio dwelling.
Whereas eggheads sort out that problem, NASA is contemplating how you can rescue the crew if they’re certainly stranded on the ISS and not using a experience dwelling. The station’s inhabitants might be able to hop onboard a helpful SpaceX Dragon capsule, NASA spokeswoman Sandra Jones recommended.
“Now we have requested SpaceX a number of questions on their functionality to return extra crew members on Dragon if essential,” she instructed Reuters on Wednesday.
It isn’t clear if a substitute Dragon capsule would fly to the ISS to fetch the three astronauts, or if they’ll return on a SpaceX pod that introduced NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Company’s astronaut Koichi Wakata, to the orbiting science lab in October.
The Dragon capsule these 4 boarded, named Endeavor, is not large enough to hold each groups again to our planet, so a number of journeys can be wanted anyway to ferry all seven. There’s one other problem, too: all astronauts touring in a Dragon spacecraft need to put on tailor-made SpaceX spacesuits, and the crew that arrived on the area station within the Soyuz do not have that fancy clobber.
NASA and Roscosmos are inspecting the Soyuz capsule, and examined its thrusters on December 16. The fluid leak was traced to the exterior cooling loop of the spacecraft.
“The techniques that have been examined have been nominal, and Roscosmos assessments of extra Soyuz techniques proceed. Temperatures and humidity inside the Soyuz spacecraft, which stays docked to the Rassvet module, are inside acceptable limits,” NASA beforehand stated in an announcement. ®